The beginning of each year is a time for looking forward. Perhaps making resolutions, perhaps not. Some of us search for inspirational messages to post on our social media pages.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
These words were written by American writer and humourist Mark Twain, who was born in 1835. It is not hard to imagine the author of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn penning the words; there are so many waterway references.
Another famous man, born forty-four years later in 1879, said this:
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
He was Albert Einstein, the theoretical physicist and author of “the world’s most famous equation”. E=mc2 You know the one.
Fast forward eighty-one years and the British author Neil Gaiman was born. His New Year’s quote is a personal favourite.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
The births of these men, two authors and one scientist, span 125 years. Basically though, their quotes are the same.
Do not be afraid to try.
It’s a message that is equally true for adults and children. And the passage of time will never make it less true.