I make mistakes all the time. When I grab my seam ripper, I have to remind myself that I didn’t invent it, which means someone else did and that someone made enough mistakes to think a tool to fix those mistakes was necessary to invent. Same thing goes for an eraser or all the other things people created to fix mistakes. I have no problem making a mistake – sure, it can be frustrating and time consuming to fix, but it’s not the end of the world.
Yesterday I wrote about stepping a bit outside of my quilting comfort zone – I joined a Quilt Along for the first time. I even posted the pictures of the first two blocks here on my blog. I took it a step further – I joined the Facebook group that corresponds with this QAL and posted my blocks there too, like many other group members had done before me. No big deal.
A few hours later I was checking Facebook and saw that there were nine comments on my post. I thought that was odd. It turns out I hadn’t made one block correctly. I got some of the small blocks turned around and my non-Tetris working brain didn’t catch the error. So, I had nine different people who decided they needed to let me know of my mistake. Like I said, I’m fine with making a mistake and once I saw the error I fixed it. No big deal…except…
With the pictures, I also posted something like this: “Joining in on my first quilt along! I’m excited to see where this quilt goes.” Perhaps those commenting didn’t read this part. Perhaps they did and didn’t care. Whatever their situation, they all wanted to make it very clear that I messed up. I will say, there was one woman who was trying to support me, which I appreciated – she suggested I did it that way on purpose. I think she and I could be friends – we see the positive side of things!
I guess I’m just naïve but I thought people would be kinder. I thought they might notice this was my first go at it and maybe cushion the critique with a bit of “welcome, so glad you joined us” stuff. I tend to think everyone is nice until they prove to me otherwise. I’m disappointed that the first time I posted in this group I was proven wrong right away. I’m disappointed that my attempt to connect with others/step out of my comfort zone/try something new resulted in me deleting my post.
I’m not bothered by the mistake. Like I said, mistakes come often in my sewing room. Sometimes I can fudge it a little and not rip the seams – other times I have to start over completely. I don’t get too flustered by that. However, the lack of compassion and kindness in the world does bother me. Whether it’s on Facebook or the interstate or in a line at the store, I think everyone deserves to be treated with respect. It’s okay to call people out on their mistakes, but how we call them out – that’s where the respect comes into play.
I know it is naïve to think that everyone will treat each other with respect. It’s obvious that humanity doesn’t always work that way. But that’s the way I want the world to work. And, if I want to see more respect and compassion, then I have to show more respect and compassion. Maybe if others see that in me, they might try it too.