It is human nature to make mistakes.There is no one who has never made or committed mistakes in life. A mistake is not merely doing something that should not be done. Not doing something that should be done is also a mistake. Some people make mistakes out of ignorance. There are others who commit mistakes due to circumstantial pressure. Whatever the reason, the first step towards correcting a mistake is to recognise that it was, in fact, a mistake.
Once we are aware of the mistake, we should repent. Repentance is in itself a kind of atonement. There are no sins that cannot be washed away by tears of repentance, but when we know what is right, mistake should not be repeated. Repentance should be sincere. Some people, however, pretend to repent merely to show off.
Once there was a boy who was a perpetual pickpocket. His mother was very sad about it. She told him to go to the nearby temple and ask for forgiveness. The boy pickpocketed a businessman and went to the priest the very next day and said, “Priest, I committed a mistake yesterday. I stole the wallet of a businessman.”
The priest said, “You committed a big sin. Go to the businessman right away and return his wallet.”
The boy met the businessman and returned his wallet. He returned home. That night, the mother saw her son counting a huge wad of notes. When the mother asked where he got the money, the son replied, “When I went to confess, I stole this money from the priest’s donation box.”
Repentance should not be like this boy’s. It must be sincere.Once a mistake is recognised, one should make a firm decision to rectify it and to never repeat it. Each time we make a mistake, our conscience is softly whispering from deep inside of us, “Don’t do this. Don’t do this.” When we listen to our conscience, we will never go astray.Man sometimes makes mistakes out of ignorance. God pardons such mistakes. But He will not pardon them if they are repeated again and again. So, mistakes should never ever be repeated.
Human life itself is a journey from the wrong to the right. Mistakes will happen. But there should be an effort on our side to improve ourselves. We should try to fill each thought, word and action with goodness. Repenting over even silly mistakes, we should move forward correcting them. That is the path to never-ending victory. Eternal happiness and peace can be attained only through that.The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader