To Err is Human. Not to Err is Dangerous.

Writing my last post got me thinking about something I read a while ago. It was written by a samurai in Japan in the 1700s so I’ll let it speak for itself.

There was once a council considering the promotion of a certain man. The council members were at the point of deciding that promotion was useless because of the fact that the man had previously been involved in a drunken brawl. But someone said ‘If we were to cast aside every man who had made a mistake once, useful men could probably not be come by. A man who makes a mistake once will learn from it and be considerably more careful not to repeat it because of his repentance. I feel that he should be promoted.’

Someone else then asked, ‘Will you guarantee him?’

The man replied, ‘Of course I will’.

The others then asked, ‘By what will you guarantee him?’

And he replied, ‘I can guarantee him by the fact that he is a man who has erred once. A man who has never once erred has never once learnt, and is dangerous.’

This said, the man was promoted.”

From ‘Hagakure’ by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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