Error

Error

From Latin erròre, derived from errāre “to stray”, “err”.

The word “error” refers to the concept of wandering, of deviating from a path, of stumbling and falling into fault. Error is the abandonment of the right path, a breach of a norm that does not conform to morality, of a rule and, in many cases, a rule that is not ours and often self-imposed. It is an act of distancing that causes a social sanction, a deviation from a rational course of action. Error is therefore considered a disabling social stigma and a measure of our incompetence and incapacity.
Error is also a deviation from our expectation, an option that has not been contemplated and an unexpected obstacle along the path we had imagined.

But deviating is not always bad and to err is human as the Latin phrase reminds us. Personal and professional life is never a straight line and a smooth path. Life is almost always complex, and error is a completely natural occurrence because it is a source of information, knowledge and learning. Indeed, it is even essential because it is the only way that we, complex beings, have at our disposal for learning. Our brain, neuroscientists argue, learns through trial and error. Error shapes it and modifies the structure of neurons creating new and unprecedented connections.

If we learn to accept error as a natural factor of a complex life, we will give due weight to failure and our mistakes and we will discover that error is a journey of self-discovery, for exploring our limitations and our talents.