Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow

Posted Friday, January 6th, 2017 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Attorney-Client Relations, Not South Carolina Specific, Of Interest to Family Court Litigants

Recently, walking past an apartment in Amsterdam, I observed the following postcard-sized calling card for a “life coach” and broke out laughing:

Attorneys, especially family law attorneys, represent folks who are trying to overcome “mistakes.” Sometimes the mistake is having a child before they are ready to parent. Sometimes the mistake is marrying someone they shouldn’t have married. Sometimes the mistakes are bigger: criminal or substance abuse issues or obviously poor decision making that impacts the marriage or custody. And sometimes the “mistakes” are merely a consequence of being human: such as growing apart from a formerly compatible spouse.

These folks look to attorneys to help them overcome or minimize the consequences of these mistakes. Often these clients want to continue making these mistakes but want their attorney to make these mistakes consequence free. And almost everyone is hoping to avoid making mistakes in the future.

The past few years I’ve been seeing a counselor whose view of humans is that we are all inherently loveable and that we don’t have to “earn our keep.” It is a form of radical acceptance that on one level is obviously true–my daughters have never had to behave a particular way for me to love them unconditionally–but is inconsistent with the way I and many of my peer were raised. I constantly beat myself up over my mistakes and tie too much of my sense of self-worth to avoiding making mistakes. Most people I know are similar.

Yet, being human, mistakes will be make. Our growth, to the extent we do grow, isn’t towards a mistake-free life, but to simply making better mistakes. The mantra, “Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow” should be counsel of every family law attorney advising an unhappy or anxious client.

One thought on Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow

  1. Well said! Happy New Year!!!!

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