What would you do if you made a mistake and somebody died?

Sometimes we wish life would just go perfectly with no hitches or problems. There’s always some new problem or issue in our lives. Why can’t everything just go perfectly? In our lives we make many mistakes. And we learn a lot from the mistakes we make. If everything went smoothly all the time there would be no challenge in life. We would get bored and uninterested in a life of perfection.

We’re bound to make mistakes at some point in life. Some mistakes are small and insignificant. You woke up ten minutes later than your alarm this morning. Other mistakes are big and very impactful. You slept with a stranger after the party and broke your boyfriends heart. These mistakes add character to us and we learn to appreciate them in the long run. But what would you do if you made a mistake and somebody died?

Here’s my thoughts on what I’d do if I made a mistake that led to someone dying.

The natural inclination when we make a mistake is to immediately criticize ourselves. If you spilled the bowl of milk off the table on your mom’s new carpet, you’d feel bad. Then you’d start cursing yourself out in your head. Some people even go so far as to vent their anger out loud. “You’re such a clutz Tim! Just stay away from people’s things. You ruin everything!” It’s nothing personal we’re just upset and disappointed in the moment.

But is it really worth putting ourselves down like that. Mom is probably going to come downstairs to curse and scream at you herself. You already have to deal with mom’s anger and actually cleaning up the mess for two hours. It’s best you just stay calm and acknowledge that you’re human. Carpets come and go. Life goes on. When meeting my highschool girlfriend’s parents for the first time, I accidentally knocked over her dad’s glass of wine. It sucked but I quickly laughed it off.

They laughed as well. But I know they were slightly upset seeing the wine slowly stain their table and floor. Who knows if laughing at the moment was the best thing to do? But I know cursing and putting myself down wouldn’t have helped at all. The problem is some people just put any and every mistake off. They crash their friends new car. Or they lose their girlfriend’s family tradition ring. And they don’t empathize but rather just brush it off as no big deal.

You’re human of course. But a mistake is still a mistake. Ideally, we wouldn’t make some mistakes because it can highly inconvenience others. Some people don’t get that and will cross the line by glorifying their mistakes. They’ll make a joke out of persuading a girl under the influence to have sex. You should never take people’s kindness and understanding for granted. If not, you might just find yourself behind bars for a simple mistake.

For example, drinking and driving is a mistake that many people make. It should never happen. Sometimes we get home safely and we should be grateful and humble enough to never do it again. But some people are spiteful and commit that same act again with no remorse from the first time. And one day it ends with someone else or yourself dying. Don’t be the person that ends up behind bars for a foolish mistake like that.

But if I made mistake like killing someone from drinking and driving, I know there’s no perfect way to handle it. The best response would be a balance between the two points of view. I wouldn’t want to hate myself for such a horrible act. I would remind myself often that I’m human and mistakes happen. On the other hand, I would analyze every action and decision that led to that mistake. I would take my actions seriously and vow to never make that mistake again. Other than that, like any normal person I would be very sad and remorseful for the lives lost.

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