Our Moral Compass: What Can Be Our Most Fatal Mistake

“A mistake in judgment isn’t fatal, but too much anxiety about judgment is.”

-Pauline Kael

     American Film Critic Pauline Kael’s quote is one that serves as a good reminder for all of us to remember. We often struggle with making certain decisions in our lives. We agonize over what the right choice would be, worrying how it may affect us or others if the situation does not go the way we had hoped based on a decision we made. What we need to keep in mind is that we are all human. Let me say this again: we are all human. We make mistakes. They are unavoidable but it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world as we know it if we made the wrong decision. As long as we learn from it, we grow as an individual and, if faced with the same decision again, would make a different choice.

Pauline Kael says that it wouldn’t necessarily be our mistake in judgment as being fatal but our stressing over what the judgment overall might be: judgment of others and especially the judgment of ourselves. We are our own worst critic. We cannot be afraid to make a decision when one is needing to be made. Too much may be riding on it, not just for you but also others. as with any decision, it is important for us to always weigh the pros and cons in trying to make the best decision but unless you have a crystal ball (which I am sure you don’t) there is no way to predict what the outcome would be every single time. If that was the case and you do, let me know and maybe we could play Powerball together.

The point is anxiety over anything is self inflicted. We are doing it to ourselves. If we are anxious over what others’ judgment will be based on a decision we make it may sway our decision and we may choose the path of least resistance so to speak which may not necessarily be the best in the long run for everyone involved. If we clear our conscience and make the best decision based on whatever formal or informal data we may have, then if it turns out wrong, admit it to who it may have affected.  This shows real courage and if the person is as compassionate as I hope they are, they will understand. Most importantly learn from it. Bottom line is we can’t live in fear of the unknown. We are in the driver’s seat of our own lives. And if we live our lives of being in the driver’s seat, no one tells us when we want to turn left or right. We do. We make the choice. So don’t stress out of what could go wrong, focus on what could go right and more importantly what you can learn from the experience because we should be learning from both our correct and incorrect choices.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your responsible decision making skills?

 

 

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