On to the Next
I’ve done a lot of embarrassing things in my life.
Things that I thought would make or break who I am. Things that I thought would define myself in the eyes of my family and friends and general public.
I’ve hung at the end of a ropes challenge in the middle of the air like a dead fish for my MBA classmates to see. I’ve stammered and stuttered my way through Table Topics questions at Toastmasters.
I’ve probably made more than a few awkward comments at social events and bars where I still feel somewhat out of place.
I’ve done some stupid things that I wish I had not done in the past. And on and on it goes. But, I feel like these things are not as bad as they seem.
On the surface, they may look embarrassing and awkward and relatively dumb. But in retrospect, I don’t think any of my friends or family or classmates remember them or care for that matter.
Unless I bring it up over and over again, which I don’t.
These embarrassing moments happen to everyone. And many times, we blow it out of proportion, thinking that what we did will be seen as silly or stupid in the eyes of our peers.
But most of the times, our peers have similar feelings too. They think of things that they’ve done in the past with some regret. Things that they think will last an imprint for all of eternity.
But, it’s really not like that. Everyone has got their own thing going on. They have their own lives to live. Their own struggles and challenges. Whether it be family, relationship, career, or otherwise.
Everyone has things that they think they won’t bounce back from. That they think will be embarrassing for all eternity for the public to see.
But thankfully, the public has other things that they need to do. Chances are, they don’t remember that silly thing that you did back in college or in graduate school.
After all, the world does not revolve around myself. It does not revolve around any single individual. It revolves for the sake of revolving. Just because that’s what it does.
So, when we make a mistake or do something embarrassing, just think about all the wealth of events that people have got going on.
What are the chances that they will focus on that one mishap you made back in college for all of eternity? Chances are they will forget. Most likely, they will not care at all.
Everyone’s got their own lives to live. Who the heck remembered that I was hanging on for dear life during that ropes challenge at St. Cyr in France back in 2010?
Chances are, nobody. Exact myself.
Everyone feels like that their own experience is of utmost importance. That it is the make or break moment in one’s family, career, or general relationship.
But the world keeps on going - regardless of how that event turned out. And for the better. It’s on to the next event. The next experience. The next feeling.
There are too many things that we are inundated with in these times. Through social media feeds. Through the TV. Through magazines. Through word-of-mouth.
It just feels like all this flood of information makes us forget the things that come to be. Our personal experiences are not as important as we make them out to be.
They are not the make-or-break moment in any circumstance. So when we make that silly mistake, just think how much of an imprint it will really have on society. Most likely, negligible.
It’s okay. Everyone makes mistakes. And it’s not the end of the world. If anything, this coronavirus situation has served as a gentle reminder of that.
For us humans, it is a make-or-break event. It is something that we need to take seriously, without a doubt. It’s that important to us.
But how important is the coronavirus to the fish in the sea? To the cherry blossoms that are blooming? To the animals that still wander around naively and blissfully in the wild?
Chances are, they don’t care at all about this coronavirus pandemic that us human beings are dreading.
Chances are, their make-or-break event is hunting for that next meal. Finding that perfect mate. Reproducing. And whatever it is that animals do on a daily basis.
On the flip side, we can obviously care less about their worries. For us, this coronavirus pandemic is everything that we should be focusing on right now.
Getting past that curve. Socially distance. Practicing proper hygiene. All these necessary actions have been drilled incessantly into our heads. And it’s for a good cause.
So as the rest of the world continues to move on as per normal, we human beings are stressing everyday about a virus that rightfully has us on our toes.
Once we can hopefully beat this virus and things return back to relative ‘normalcy’, we’ll go back to thinking about our own events and experiences with utmost importance.
Next time, when we make a mistake or do something silly in the eyes of the public, don’t fret. Chances are, the public won’t even care.
And for us, it’s an opportunity to put that behind us and move on to the next experience.