How about this as a mantra for 2018: Make new mistakes.
I think it’s wise advice. And I think it’s terrifying advice. The mantra is inspired by Neil Gaiman who says, “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So… Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.”
I love the image of making groundbreaking mistakes and the image of not freezing once trying something new.
With mistakes, we need to be real. It’s not wise to make arithmetic errors on your tax return, or to ignore street signs or to lose a library book. Mistakes come with consequences.
Yet, continually trying to avoid making mistakes also comes with consequences. Our culture rewards perfection, or something close. We learn to fear mistakes and to perfect what we’re already doing. What if in 2018 you are intentional about trying something new? Or of doing something differently? What doors might open? What new relationships might form? What if 2018 is less about getting it exactly right, and more about exposure to new experiences?
What is the 2018 you can imagine for yourself?
My hope for the coming year is that together at UUFE we can imagine boldly, and have the courage to make a few new mistakes!
Happy New Year,