Sometimes awful things happen, not because the person who was doing them was awful but because something went awfully wrong. An equipment failure, an error of judgement, a slip, a miscalculation.
I saw a performance, there was an error, the model nearly dropped.
- Before the performance I really liked them.
- After she nearly dropped her I really liked them; even though my heart was in my mouth for her.
- If she’d have dropped I would have still liked them; even though I would be so very concerned for her.
There was a mistake, an error of judgement, a narrowly avoided catastrophe.
What there wasn’t was maliciousness, carelessness or arrogance.
Please note that I liked them as people before, during and after. This incident during the performance did not in any way effect my judgement or feeling for them as people.
I have seen people’s reputations attacked, their competence and attitude questioned, their character questioned because they made a mistake.
Sometimes things do go wrong because people used inappropriate technique or equipment. Sometimes because they made the wrong choices or did not consider likely problems. Sometimes it’s the persons fault very clearly. But on other occasions it’s worth considering that sometimes human beings make honest mistakes or commit an error of judgement under pressure.
Every incident, accident and circumstance is different. I think people should, if they can, step back, consider things rationally and at least give head room to the idea that human frailty is the true culprit. On mature consideration it may be that it wasn’t but it’s the apparent failure to consider the human dimension that leaps out at me.
Whatever the conclusion, try to remember that you are talking about humans, they do have feelings, which can seem to be forgotten in on-line discussions sometimes. Your words can effect them deeply.
p.s. I have wondered in light of recent events if I should post this article. I wrote the outline of this post after the event where the incident I referred to took place. I have hesitated to post the completed article in case it was taken as oblique reference to another more recent event. However I’m hoping that people will read this for what it is, especially given this note.