Recently, I was wholly and embarrassingly wrong about a piece of trivia. It was something I should have known or I could have easily found out before mentioning it. So, a public spectacle was made of me and I was ridiculed across social media.
Not really, nobody cares that much about things I say.
But anyway, it turns out that there are snakes in England, which I didn’t know, making my Facebook inaccurate. Instead of deleting the status, though, I left it up – to remind myself that I am not infallible.
I’ve always hated when people won’t admit they’re wrong. Whether it’s something big, like “I should not have stolen that Ferrari” or something small, like “It turns out the G in gnu IS silent”, it’s important to own your mistakes. Otherwise, you’re just piling on the wrong, like a big, incorrect snowball of inaccuracies.
Nobody can be right all the time, nobody can know everything – we all have our blind spots. Some are worse than others, like when I was surprised to find out that Theresa May was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. That was last week and she has been in office since July. That was a low point, I’ll admit. But so what? I know now.
If you admit you’re wrong, or ignorant, or whatever, you’ve then become right – and you’re one step closer to be right about everything. It’s a strategy.
This works both ways – don’t be afraid to correct someone. Just don’t be a wanker about it. You’ve been wrong before. We’re all learning together.
So, unless you’ve decided to shut up forever, soon there will be something you don’t know or are wrong about. That’s okay. Own it. When you’re corrected, say “thank you!” because now you know a new thing and learning is fun.
To help you on your way, here are some things I literally just learned that I really should have known but anyway now I do.
- There are snakes in England – I really thought there were none. I had never seen one or heard anyone talk about seeing one and I lived there for a year and a half. Then, my friend reminded me of Adder in The Animals of Farthing Wood and I felt like a right fool.
- Theresa May is the UK Prime Minister – I had totally forgotten Cameron had resigned after Brexit and if anyone had asked I probably would have guessed it was a lawless wasteland or they reverted to a straight-up monarchy and Lizzie 2 was back calling the shots.
- I thought Theresa May was her first name and googled her to find out her surname.
- The guy who does the voice of Rick and Morty is the same guy that does the voice of the Earl of Lemongrab in Adventure Time.
- Gnu is pronounced NOO.
- There are more fake flamingos in the world than real flamingos – I learned that from reddit and I was like whoa, what?
- How my friend Dervilia got her name – it’s a great story and I couldn’t believe I only learned it more than a year after knowing her. You should ask her about it some time.
- How big Irish Elk or giant deer, were. REALLY REALLY BIG.
- I have three freckles on the side of my face, in a triangle. I didn’t JUST learn this but I learned it way, way after my face existed.
- How many times the word “just” is used in prose. If you’ve recently written a substantial piece of prose, search the word “just” and see how many times it comes up.
So, there are some things I’m ashamed I didn’t know before BUT I do know now, and that’s the cool thing about being alive – you keep learning things. At first, it’s about survival, like you learn to walk and not to lick boiling caramel, but then there’s all sorts of new information to find out and yeah I’m trying to be philosophical and inspiring to distract everyone from the fact that I didn’t know who the British PM was.
BUT I KNOW NOW.