After the fall

I was hot gluing a twig to a piece of blue construction paper when one of the little girls in my preschool class came running over to show me the red and green prints she made with half an apple.
Suddenly, she tripped over a chair leg and crashed to the ground. Please God, don’t let her be hurt, I thought as I stooped down to help her up. I expected there to be tears, but instead she jumped to her feet, straightened her uniform and said, “I’m okay. I should have been more careful. Next time I will do better.”
It was such a simple thing to say; a perfectly rational way to look at a mistake, but it’s something we adults often fail to do. Everyone trips and falls some time, but no one wants to admit to their faults. It’s just too shameful. It’s so much easier to redirect responsibility and blame someone or something else (“Stupid chair!”). It’s so much easier to run away and hide or to pretend nothing happened. 
This little girl did none of those things. She recognized her mistake. She realized that it wasn’t something that was going to ruin her life or her day. She reflected on what she could have done. And she reminded herself to avoid situations like this in the future. She forgave herself, just as God forgives us.  So, the next time you trip and fall, pick yourself up and say, “I’m okay. I should have been more careful. Next time I will do better.”


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.