How to Make a Mistake?
By Alisa McCabe
Julian Edelman, of the New England Patriots, just won MVP for Super Bowl LIII. But his year didn’t start out that way. He was suspended for the first 4 games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance- enhancing substances. He addressed the issue during training camp. “Obviously, you’re disappointed with it, but I got to follow the protocols a little better and make sure this never happens again.” Edelman said after the team’s third practice of training camp. “I’m accountable for my actions.”
He made a mistake, took responsibility for it and said how he is going to avoid this situation from recurring. Hmmmm…sounds like a plan.
The first time I saw this process in action was from my nephew and son when they were 14 years old. We were on a family vacation together and they had done something wong. Nothing horrible (even now, I can’t remember what it was!) but what I do remember is how they reacted. They knew we were mad about what they had done and they wrote us a letter. In it, they apologized for what they did, they also addressed how they disappointed us, they took full responsibility for their actions (while pleading for us to be lenient) and how it wouldn’t happen again. They showed humility, responsibility and some serious adulting for a couple of 14 year olds. I was so impressed with their letter, it hung on our fridge for years. Anytime one of my kids made a mistake, I would point out the letter and tell them this is a great way to handle a mistake.
My son and nephew didn’t go on in their careers to win MVPs, but they both are successful adults. My nephew started a company in college and recently sold it. My son graduated college and is serving in the military. Maybe they did win MVPs in life, their own lives.
Everyone makes mistakes, it’s handling the aftermath that reflects the person that someone is and the person they can become.