Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. Will Rogers
Last night we watched Sully a movie about “The miracle on the Hudson” where a plane was landed on the Hudson River and all 155 people on board were saved.
He was a hero but still faced questions and maybe the loss of his job, pension, and livelihood if he was found to have put the plane down in the Hudson when simulations showed he could have made it to an airport.
As he listened to what they said he didn’t remember things the way he was being told they happened. He was starting to second guess himself, had he made a huge mistake in judgment as an experienced pilot of 42 years.
He was not allowed to see the simulations that the investigators had requested, but he knew someone within the industry and he requested they have simulations done. At the hearing, the simulations he requested were played. The simulations showed he could have landed at either of two airports with the plane intact.
He asked how many practice runs did the pilots get, he was told seventeen. He said those simulation pilots knew the situation they would be facing but he did not. He had 208 seconds and part of that time was spent on evaluating what had happened and what to do about it, not just implementing what to do. He was given 35 seconds of evaluation time. Now when the simulators had to take 35 seconds off their flight time they could no longer make it to either airport.
We can second guess ourselves, or be second-guessed by others. It is easy to look at things in hindsight differently than when we lived it. If we put enough effort in we can see how we could have, and even should have done things differently. We didn’t have the luxury of time when we made our decision. We didn’t know how other people would view things. The miracle on the Hudson is that the pilot only took 35 seconds to figure out what to do and then did it. He was only 7 miles from an airport. Missing that airport by feet or by miles was still a miss.
Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever. Nancy Lopez
We have to be okay with the decisions we make in our life. All of our decisions may not lead to the finest moments of our life. We are human; we need to cut our self some slack. It may look the same regardless of what our intent is. We may believe things happened differently than someone else believes.
It is in these moments that growth happens. We are responsible for what we do, say, and think. How others interpret what we did, said and thought we may not be responsible for. We may not be able to change their mind, we may have to go forward confident in ourselves we did the best we could at the time.
We see it all the time, embarrassing moments in people’s lives are exposed. Something they thought innocent or at least private comes back to haunt them. Maybe they are threatened with blackmail and must come forward and expose themselves to scrutiny. It is a testament to their character that they expose themselves to scrutiny instead of being blackmailed.
We live in a time now where mistakes are not tolerated. If we are not comfortable being awkward around others, we will keep more to ourselves. We will hesitate to initiate conversations out of fear of being thought a pervert, insensitive, or uninformed. We will not reach out to other people for fear they will misunderstand our motives. We fear we will not address them the way they wish to be addressed. We will be insensitive to the challenges they have faced in their life.
People make mistakes, we don’t understand each other. We make mistakes with those we know and love, we will make mistakes with those we don’t yet know. When we protect ourselves from making mistakes, we close ourselves off from engaging with others, opportunities, and life.
When offending someone is an offense, we will not engage with them. That is worse than offending them because it will limit all of our opportunities. There are unintended consequences in everything. If we are no longer able to overlook people’s mistakes where do we go in our families, businesses, society, politics and the greater world?
We’re all caught up in circumstances, and we’re all good and evil. When you’re really hungry, for instance, you’ll do anything to survive. I think the most evil thing – well, maybe that’s too strong – but certainly, a very evil thing is judgment, the sin of ignorance. Anthony Hopkins
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