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Admitting Mistakes: Admirable, But Not A Free Pass

Updated on September 2, 2012
This is the attitude of the "I've made some bad choices" people!
This is the attitude of the "I've made some bad choices" people! | Source

I have noticed a new catch phrase lately. It is: "I've made some bad choices in life." This seems to be the new thing to say when you are admitting you did something wrong. I have heard it used to cover everything from bad relationships to crimes. It seems that once it is said, all is expected to be forgiven.

While it is admirable to admit your mistakes and a very important part of personal growth, it is not a free pass to total forgiveness and acceptance of what you have done. One of the important things to realize about mistakes is that they are going to change your life. Owning up to them is the first step. Making sure you don't repeat the same mistake is the second step. I think the third step is accepting that not everyone is going to forgive and forget just because you said you made a mistake.

I don't understand why people think they are not going to suffer the repercussions of their mistakes. It seems that there a lot of people out there that think they are not responsible for their actions. They can do whatever they want and say, "I made a bad choice," and all the effects of that bad decision will disappear.

It's similar to saying "I'm sorry." When this is done from the bottom of your heart, it counts. When it's said to just get someone to get off your back, and is not heartfelt, it doesn't cut it. "I've made some bad choices" is not a cure all for the harm you've done to others or the heartache you've caused.

I especially get furious when I watch those real life crime shows and the criminal uses this expression. They might have murdered three people, but somehow think "I made some bad choices in my life" is an excuse and they will get that free pass to continue life as usual. This will make everyone understand why they murdered three people.

I saw this quote the other day: "You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice." There are things you are going to do that will never be forgiven of forgotten. You may admit you did something wrong and that's admirable, but you have to realize that you also have to suffer the results that action put into motion. It is not a free pass to absolution.



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    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Thanks Giselle for your comment. I have seen too many people think that saying "I'm sorry" or "I made a mistake" is suppose to wipe out all the things they did. Maybe it also depends on how genuine you think they are being. If they really mean it, it's easier to forgive, but often it seems like just lip service.

      And you are so takes away the trust you had in that person.

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 5 years ago

      An interesting and difficult topic which was tackled very well here. I enjoyed reading this hub. Also, even if someone forgives someone for a past hurt, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are willing to place any future trust in that person (or indeed, have any future relationship with that person). Forgiving a past action does not imply any future obligation or trust on the part of the forgiver.

      I totally agree with you that often people are unrealistic and don't accept that their action has had consequences. I really liked the quote you used toward the end of the article - a very good summation.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Thanks for your support Cashmere! It's always nice to hear from you.

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Interesting hub topic catgypsy, I enjoyed this and thank you for sharing. Voting up and rating interesting, beautiful, and useful :)