I Have Signed An Armistice With My Errors

Poppies are a symbol of the Armistice of World War I. I have signed an armistice with my errors.

The peace of Step 74, “Peace abides with me today” of Steps to Knowledge isn’t a peace that comes out of nowhere for no reason. It is a peace that results from the willingness to learn from one’s errors. This willingness was asserted in Step 73, “I will allow my errors to teach me.”

It is as if I have signed an armistice with my errors

Oh, but this armistice is not like the Armistice of Compiegne in November of 1918, where one side humbled the other side. Neither is this armistice like the Korean Armistice Agreement in July of 1953, in which both sides are still at war in every way except killing people and breaking things. This is closer to an actual peace treaty, where the two parties not only agree to end violent hostilities, but declare a mutual desire to get along.

I have signed an armistice with my errors. What are the terms of this armistice? The Armistice at Compiegne was based on Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points.” There are a mere eleven points which describe my responsibilities. Here’s my part of the deal.

  1. I will not justify my errors.
  2. I will not forget my errors.
  3. I will learn from my errors.
  4. I will do what must be done that was not done before.
  5. I will avoid what must be avoided that was not avoided before.
  6. I will contemplate how these errors could be recognized in advance.
  7. I will consider the signs that preceded them, and how these warnings might be recognized in the future.
  8. I will allow my errors to teach me.
  9. I will not deny my errors.
  10. I will not bear false witness against my errors.
  11. I will not call my errors by other names.

And what will my errors do? They will cease to haunt and oppress me.  They will cease to confront me with the pain I have caused myself and others. They will offer me instruction as to avoid repeating error in the future. They will give up their secrets.

I have signed an armistice with my errors.

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