"What do you mean, ''oops''? Nothing good ever starts with 'oops'."
"Really? I'm not sure about that. 'Oops' means I made a mistake."
"I know what it means; I'm not stupid. But it never leads anywhere good."
"I don't agree."
"OK, how 'bout this? I was at the dentist a few months ago. I was getting a tooth pulled..."
"Ouch; that's not fun."
"No, it's not. So, they've got me in that chair that looks like something from the Spanish Inquisition. My mouth is numb, I'm drooling like a one-year old - "
"Anyway... They have the chair leaning way back, the light is in my eyes, I've got one of those rubber things in my mouth - what do you call 'em?"
"Yeah, I've got a dental dam in my mouth and the dentist is yanking and pulling on my tooth. Suddenly the tooth pops loose, the dentist loses his grip, I hear him say, 'oops;' and before you know it, he's got me out of the chair, flipped over, patting me on the back like he's burping a baby."
"Wow! What happened?"
"Apparently, he dropped the tooth into my throat."
"Really? Was it dangerous?"
"Well, he was concerned that it could get in my lungs. But it didn't; apparently I swallowed it."
"So everything came out OK in the end?"
"Is that meant to be cute?"
"No, maybe I worded it poorly, but I meant what I said."
"Yeah, sure, I was fine."
"So 'oops' was a good thing then."
"No, it was a bad thing. He made a mistake. It could have had terrible results."
"But, it didn't, because he saw that he made a mistake, and corrected for it real quickly. Let's say, he didn't admit the mistake and just pretended that he still had your tooth in his pliers and just went about his business, not telling you what was going wrong."
"Well, that wouldn't have been smart. I could have got hurt."
"Right, because he admitted his mistake and he learned from it, things got better. And, you know what? I'll bet he's much more aware of that problem now then he was back then."
"I'm sure he is."
"So, future patients are probably better off, right?"
"Uh, yeah, I guess so."
"So admitting his mistake took care of you quickly and will help others prevent from experiencing what you experienced. That's two good things from one 'oops.'"
"But it's embarrassing to make mistakes."
"Maybe. But it's more embarrassing to make them repeatedly, isn't it?"
"So, the quicker we acknowledge we made a mistake and the sooner we adjust the better off we are."
"But, wouldn't it be better never to slip up?"
"Sure it would. And wouldn't the world be better if everything worked out exactly like we expect it to?"
"That's not going to happen."
"Spot on. And it's equally unrealistic to assume you won't screw-up now and then, especially if you're trying new things. So without mistakes, there is no reason for adjustment, which means we're not learning anything; therefore nothing changes. So, one could say mistakes are actually step one in improving our life."
"But only if we acknowledge them and change them."
"To do anything else would be a mistake."