If your life was a movie, would you play your bloopers at the end?
Maybe not if it was a major blooper that did you in. That could bring more tears than laughter.
Laughing with others at our own bloopers can be therapeutic and necessary for personal growth. We must first acknowledge our responsibility for our decisions and actions. When we make a mistake with the potential to harm others – even when it is not intentional, we must accept our personal responsibility.
This in fact is part of the new culture of disclosure in health care. In the course of a patient’s care, should health care providers make a mistake, such as giving the wrong dose of a medication – even if it does not result in harm to that patient, they are ethically obliged to disclose the error to the patient.
This transparency is essential for improvements in safety in health care. We can learn from these mistakes and take steps to reduce future errors.
Of course medical mistakes are seldom funny, and no one laughs at these bloopers.
Laughing at ourselves when we do silly things can relieve the pressure of trying to look perfect. If we take ourselves too seriously and worry too much about looking good to everyone else, we may set unrealistic standards and cause ourselves more stress.
Fear of falling or looking foolish can hold us back from trying new things, meeting new people, learning and growing. Maybe we should all let our loved ones know which bloopers they may share at our memorial services. We could start a new trend that would reduce blooper phobia in the living, reminding everyone that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as we can learn and laugh.
What would you do today if you were not afraid of failing or looking foolish?