Inevitably, in the process of learning and growing, we make mistakes—sometimes big mistakes. Understandably, we tend to think of these mistakes as failures.
Maybe, but there is a much more realistic and encouraging perspective for these “failures.” We didn’t fail. We’re just learning how to cross a river covered with ice, and from time to time we encounter a place where surface turbulence, or increased sun exposure, or whatever has made the ice thinner. We didn’t see the defect or our impending fall through the ice, because the ice is covered with snow.
So, then we fall through, and we discover that it’s impossible to get out of the freezing water without help. Our friends throw us a rope, or create a human chain, and we recover from our mistake.
With experience, we learn to check the thickness of the ice as we cross. We stab the ice with an a sharp pole, looking for weak spots, just as the Inuit have done for centuries.
We grow in experience, continuing to rely on the help of friends, and in the end we find ourselves making far fewer mistakes. All this takes time and experience, so we just keep going. What a trip.