In Step 26, “My errors give birth to my Knowledge,” Steps to Knowledge succinctly demonstrates the incompleteness of a number of ideas in popular culture regarding errors. To briefly review, if you think that error doesn’t hurt, you’re kidding yourself. If you justify your poor choices, you anesthetize yourself to the pain they caused to you and others. If I forget my mistakes, I will inevitably make them again. Therefore, it is important to resolve to learn from errors, and to look for their enablers.
Will my errors give up their secrets?
Step 73, “I will allow my errors to teach me,” continues in this vein. This is the first mention of the word “error” since Step 26. The teaching of Step 26 has been gestating and germinating for a while. Underneath the pain, past the heartache, each error has a valuable secret to share, a point of instruction to offer. This step is strengthening the willingness to receive instruction from one’s errors, and thus to no longer repeat them.
When doing this step, I remember thinking to myself, “Allow my errors to teach me? The heck with that! I’ll be proactive! I’ll initiate! I’ll follow my errors down dark alleyways, wrestle them to the ground, and go through their pockets for every last bit of instruction I can get!” But there seems to be a time to make things happen, and a time to let things happen.
I have shared this quote from George Washington Carver before, and I will most likely share it again before too long. He said “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough.”
Will my errors give up their secrets? If I love them enough. What do I mean by loving my errors? The Step declares “If you are willing to learn from your errors, you will not be so afraid to recognize them. Then you will wish to understand them, not to deny them, not to bear false witness against them, not to call them by other names, but to admit them for your own benefit.”
Will my errors give up their secrets? If I love them enough.
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