When I was 17, I couldn't believe my Dad thought he was always right. When I was 21 (yes, ahead of the curve) it amazed me to realize that my Dad pretty much was always right. But it wasn't until I turned 33 that I grasped the whole truth in this case. My Dad only speaks up when he already knows that he's right.
As should be obvious to most readers, I don't have that same virtue. I mention this today because a blogging friend of mine got called out on a "bonehead mistake". If you don't know who I mean, you don't need to. If you saw the conversation, you know why I can't defend what he said. Friends don't need defending, anyway. But the right to make mistakes? That, often, does.
Sometimes guarding one's words is a pure power play. Sometimes misperceptions get instilled early about topics that just don't come up very often. Sometimes a person can be very good at certain aspects of something and get dismissed because a free tongue reveals ignorance about a related (though not insignificant) area.
In case you're not clear, that last paragraph was all about me. Jesus' disciples were belittled because of their Galilean accents. I'm sure one reason I don't make certain blogrolls is because my lack of acculturation comes out in dozens of ways I don't even notice. A fellow amateur at ETS laughed at my pronunciations, but at least he corrected them!
I still think I'm doing what I can to make some kind of progress (and hopefully, eventually, some contribution). Still, I wish I'd get called out more often.
The most painful lessons are often much more than valuable. They're often surprising, because they're past due.