A little thought can make all the difference

Always Make New Mistakes

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Does someone have to be blamed for every accident? Isn’t it OK, at least once and a while, to conclude that “shit happens” at the end of an accident investigation? As long as we avoid ever making this mistake in the future?

For many people, closure seems to require that someone is blamed. Whether you are talking about a workplace accident, a traffic mishap, a forgotten birthday, or a lost dog, it must be someone’s fault.

But I think sometime there is no fault. Or that the only fault that could be found is that someone neglected to predict the future. They considered possible outcome, just not this one. And the truth is, there is a universe of outcomes for every action we take.

Finding or placing blame, especially for people in the workplace or in a traffic accident, is a way of bringing absolution. It means that my insurance won’t go up because of your mistake. It means that management, who may feel accountable for any injury, will still get their bonus. Someone else messed up, not them.

We make mistakes. Sometimes they hurt us, sometimes they don’t . Sometimes others suffer from our choices. We didn’t try and cause and accident, we didn’t mean for someone to get hurt, but it still happened. Life is random. We are sometimes in the right place at the right time, and other times we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. And although that doesn’t read well on an investigation report, it is sometimes the only truth you can declare.

Have you been involved in an accident where there was no one to blame?

Let’s be careful out there.

One Response to Always Make New Mistakes

  1. I have wondered about Spanish and how there really don’t appear to be verbs of responsibility. As in, one does not say, “I dropped that $10,000 vase and it shattered.” One says, “It fell from me.” Or, “That chair just broke itself!” Or, “It forget me that I was supposed to be here at 7:00 to pick you up!”

    When I worked in Chile, I did notice there did not seem to be so much concern about assigning blame for things. Yeah. Crap happens. Deal with it. What’s the point in pointing fingers?

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