I describe my paternal grandfather as an honorable elder in my life.
One thing he taught me from a young age was that we learn from our mistakes.
Not that it mattered when I broke off the head of the carved onyx knight from his chess set. Or when I neglected to tell him that I was going to a friend’s house down the street and all but disappeared from his life for an afternoon. No, these were the times I learned that fiery fury comes from being caught up in other’s mistakes.
Perhaps he was reminding himself that we are never done learning.
One of my life goals is to become an elder, so I’ve shared that same tidbit about learning from mistakes with my daughter. One of her favorite games is asking me to tell stories about the mistakes I’ve made in my life.
I don’t tell her everything – she’s not ready for that level of honesty. But I do share certain things I’ve done that have allowed me to learn how I really want to act. Like the time when I was seven and impulsively ripped a tag off a brand new sweater. I tore a hole in it before I had even worn it once.
The day I told her that story, I had just bought a beautiful white lace sundress. I came home, ripped the tag off impulsively and tore a hole in it before I had even worn it once.
I, too, am reminding myself that I’ll never be done learning.