Sooner or later we all do really dumb stuff. I feel as though it happens less frequently as I get older but there is a tendency for me to harp on it more. When I was younger, I screwed up more but I tended to roll with it a much better.
Recently, I was officiating a basketball game. I called a foul with 3.2 seconds left. I knew 3.2 seconds were left because I looked directly at the scoreboard. The team at the foul line was down by 2 and the kid made both foul shots. Somehow, in my aging brain, I thought with him making the 2 foul shots it put his team up by one. What the F?
The other team took the ball out, the kid took a couple of dribbles and tried a ¾ court shot that missed badly. Of course the place was packed (many of whom I knew) and, with me thinking the game was over, I went over to my gym bag and began changing my shoes and shirt. Only after a minute or two did I embarrassingly realize that we were in overtime and I had to put my stuff back on. It seemed as though all eyes were on me. What a dumb ass!
When I was about 12 years old, I was walking in my old neighborhood when a kid I knew was proudly standing outside his new sliding glass door. He said to me “This is a new kind of glass. It is unbreakable.” I told him he was full of sh--. He replied, “No, really it is unbreakable. Go ahead, pick up that rock and throw it at the glass.” I picked up a rock and threw it and CRASH! I ran as he and his dad followed with a trip to see my dad. My dad’s response, “There is no way in this world that my son would be stupid enough to throw a rock at a glass door”. Oops.
I realize in the grand scheme of things, these mistakes are a bit on the light-hearted side because no one was really hurt. But, just the same the embarrassment was real and it took some time to overcome.
I have made hundreds of mistakes in my life; many much more severe than these two that I mention. But, in the words of my wise, late, Italian Grandmother, “What are you going to do, Hun?”
Three points for me to remember.
1. No matter how hard I try, mistakes are going to happen. I got to be kind to me. In other words, “Build yourself up, don’t beat yourself up!”
2. Don’t let my fear of making mistakes inhibit my desire to do stuff. Learn.
3. When I see others making mistakes (young people, family, foes, poor people, rich people, politicians, referees, foreigners, old people, police, teachers, athletes…..) be compassionate and kind because I don’t know when the next time I will find myself changing back into my shoes with hundreds looking on while there is still time on the clock.