In retrospect, I think one of the things my dad showed me was correcting mistakes. I don’t mean his mistakes. It was the way he dealt with us growing up, me specifically.
Unlike my mum, my dad would greatly overlook many of our mistakes and child truancy. Yet, once in a while, he makes it his life mission to either gently nudge us in words or break through to us with cane strokes. I remember that one time he beat me. My dad hardly ever beat. Despite correcting me, I always did the one thing over; play football with boys younger my age.
He had a Mitsubishi Lancer then, his first car, and he worked with Lafarge. We also lived in a self contained flat with a big compound that had over 10 families as tenants. We called the landlord, Big Daddy. He’s late now.
Our house overlooked a busy street, but we had a big gate. So, big house, big compound, many tenants, expectedly, noise was rife. Logically, football was one of our mainstay. Did you see Fuji House of Commotion? Hehn hehn! Our compound was like that, but without the strife. When we play football, we always never forget to post someone at the gate. For two reasons, catch the ball if and when it flies over the gate to the street and more importantly, watch out for our parents.
I played ball many times. Sometimes he caught me, sometimes I get away with it. Whenever I realize his closing time is near, especially when he is on day duty to return in the evening, I would force myself to stop and have a shower. Sometimes, I enjoy it too much I get carried away. One day, my dad caught me and he would have none of it. He beat the hell out of me.
Now that I’ve grown older, I have come to understand quite a number of things with that approach. One of them is that people might overlook many of your mistakes, but once in a while, they will rightly come for you. When they do, I have come to understand it is unfair to lash back at them. Although I know opinions and methods differ, but what will always be constant is the motive.
For me, I have come to understand that my standard is high. Not high enough to witch-hunt mistakes or flaws of course, but high enough to desire people around to aspire to do better and shun mediocrity. So, I nudge them once in a while. I have countless of times overlooked mistakes people make around me. Sometimes, it hurts me to look away. It hurts as I know for certain they can do better.
I’m not exactly perfect myself. I have made countless mistakes and have been subject to corrections. And yes, I believe people who have corrected me one time or the other had also had to look away for most of those mistakes. What I have tried not to do is feel being targeted for ‘flimsy’ things. Because as I have come to understand, people can ignore the big things in a small way and correct the small things in a big way with good intentions.
Always, take the correction in good faith and move on. People make mistakes, yeah. People also correct them. Whatever their motive is, keep an open mind.
Good morning, my friends.
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