Mistake or a Miscalculation

So many times in our lives, we look back and count the number of times that we made mistakes.  Some mistakes are obvious while others take a little more time to figure out but all of them may cause many a period of regret and we all know that regret is not a good feeling.  We also should know by now that regret can easily lead us into other directions which is far worse than simple regret.  Before we begin to cross the line between a regret and more other serious situations, let us consider using another word that may not cause us such a high rate of pain and discomfort.  Let’s try using the word miscalculation instead of mistake for no other reason than it hurts less and is much easier to fix in most instances.

The definition of a mistake is an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong while the definition of a miscalculation is an error or misjudgment.  Both sounds quite similar but when spoken the word mistake sounds much more harsh and in many instances is harder to admit to and correct than when the word miscalculation is spoken.  I believe this is so because of the one word used to describe a mistake that does not appear in the definition of a miscalculation.  That word is “wrong” and why is simply because as arrogant and often fragile as the human ego is, the one word that gets our scales up faster than anything else is the word wrong.  If you wish to test this theory, just say to someone that you think that they are wrong and watch their immediate reaction, then ask if they could have made a slight miscalculation and watch the difference in their demeanor.

To better understand what a miscalculation is consider estimating the reaction you may get and then after he action seeing a totally different one than you anticipated.  That is you miscalculated the reaction and while it could easily be seen as a mistake or a screw-up, it may not have been that at all.  It’s all about the purpose or intent that best describes miscalculations.  If you intend on hurting another person’s feelings or making them look bad in front of a group and that is the results of your actions then you did not make a miscalculation because what you intended to do was done but if it was not your intent then a miscalculation is what you have.  The very words of a slight miscalculation versus being called wrong is in itself worth the effort it takes to use the lesser offensive one than the other.  It also allows the one responsible for the miscalculation to change directions without feeling attacked by the one who made them aware of it.  This is not the results of what happens when the word wrong is used to describe another person’s actions.


The end result is basically the same because the purpose for bringing a mistake to another person’s attention is to have it corrected.  The idea that using the word mistake is that because of the word wrong, that mistake may not ever get corrected because it may offend but this may not be the case if the word is replaced by miscalculation.  We can all embrace that fact that we make mistakes but the major difference is how many of us have the courage to admit it and correct it.  I attest that many more of us will have the heart, mind, soul, courage and love of self to quickly correct and admit to a miscalculation.

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