“Don’t touch that; you’ll get burned.”

Have you ever heard that comment made? Just out of curiosity, I wonder how many people heard that when they were growing up.

Personally, it took more than one warning to work for me. I still have a tendency to touch something hot, just to see if it might be hot.

When we were young, most of us learned from our mistakes. Touch a boiling pot on the stove and it will burn you was often better learned by actually touching it, even after we had been told it was hot.

We learned how to ride a bicycle by falling off. I have yet to meet someone who got riding a bicycle on their first try.

We have making mistakes built into life. Otherwise we would not learn.

If you think about it, making mistakes or getting it wrong is how we managed to reach adulthood.

I had to make a mistake in just about everything I did as a child to learn to eventually do it right.

We tend to forget that I’m afraid sometimes and expect things to go right all the time. Humans cannot be depended on to do everything right every time.

Mistakes are what got us this far.

You think caveman “Ugh” built the first wheel completely round? I doubt it. I can promise you it was a trial-and-error process.

It turned out that Tesla had it right all along. Took a while to figure it out having others convinced it was direct current that we needed.

There are many other examples of mistakes being made that lead to many, if not all of the things we now depend on every day.

I believe we need mistakes in our lives to help us understand when we get something right.

Sometimes we take it to an extreme.

A good example for those that keep up with sports would be how we gauge athletes. A baseball player with a 300 batting average is considered to be an excellent hitter. In perspective, it means that the player fails to get on base seven out of every 10 times at bat, or a 70 percent failure rate.

We will tolerate that from a baseball player; however, if you applied those statistics to a surgeon, well, that is another perspective. You certainly would not want a doctor that fails 70 percent of the time.

Over the years, with the exception of maybe touching something to see if it is hot, I have learned a great deal from my mistakes.

Somethings I do by instinct now: looking out for oncoming cars when I open my truck door; using my turn signals; using my cruise control; never starting a brush pile fire with gasoline; looking both ways when I cross a street; unplugging things I work on; and watching what I say.

This list could go on for the rest of the page. I am, for the most part, a walking example of how mistakes have guided my life.

Thankfully, I learned from many of those mistakes and, as it turns out, made it this far.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell: Part I,” in a series of three books. Byron has been involved with local theatre having done over 50 musicals, a dozen stage plays and wrote and directed an original play “Splintered Judgement.” He is available for speaking engagements. You can contact him at byronspires51@gmail.com.

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