Recently a friend sent me a text message that was so completely out of context that I knew it was not intended for me. But since it was a GIF of a comedian saying, “Bless His Heart,” my snarky Southern self was quite amused by it. (Who inspired my friend to send that?! I wondered.)
Earlier in the summer in some family communications about an upcoming gathering, an in-law sent a reaction to one person that definitely wasn’t intended for the actual recipient. Graham and I were entertained by that one, too.
And then not long ago I did a similar but less amusing thing — I sent a text meant for one colleague to a different colleague … who was the one about whom I had been writing! I had been hurrying, participating in multiple text threads simultaneously, and … well … it happens.
It was awkward and uncomfortable, and I apologized.
Thankfully, I wasn’t speaking unkindly or inappropriately about this colleague, and it was even understandable to them that I’d been discussing our situation with someone else. My mistake was not a breach of confidentiality, it didn’t have significant negative consequences, nor anything particularly bad at all. It was just … yuck. I’m cringing as I think about it now.
The simple truth is, I wish I had been more careful. I wish I hadn’t made a mistake. I wish I had done “better”.
It’s also true that I’m glad for this essentially painless reminder not to hurry unnecessarily through tasks; to give adequate attention to what I’m saying, typing, doing; to take care with others; to practice saying, “I messed up. I apologize;” and even to be gentle with myself when I discover that my imperfection is on display.
After all, the fact of our utter imperfection is undeniable — we are blessedly, beautifully, horribly imperfect. Always and forever.
Humanly, humbly yours,