Forgive me website, for I have sinned.
In the meaning of missing the mark, I just sinned while I was out running. I missed a small but simple and clear opportunity at nudging the world in an ever so slightly better direction.
I was out in the woods, catching up to an older man. I imagine him being somewhat older than my father, his grey hair and posture making me imagine him being someone's young and energetic grandfather, just the kind of active person I hope to be at that age.
As I was approaching, this man reached a younger man out mountainbiking with his kid. They had stopped, and the older man reached the two just as the younger man was turning his bike. The bike just happened to be across most of the track as the older man reached them, and he reacted by slowing down, raising his arms in frustration and saying something I could not hear as he passed them. In response the man on the bike looked back and responded (voice raised but not shouting, more frustrated than angry) "aren't you allowed to make a mistake in this country?" To which the old man responded, without turning or stopping: "No."
I passed him a few seconds later and unfortunately could not think of more to do in the moment than glare angrily at the back of his neck. That might have been a good thing, as most of the first responses which came to mind in the following minutes were rather … pointed.
I wish I had the presence of mind to simply ask "was that really necessary?" Just a calm question, no unnecessary (but oh so tempting) irony or outright meanness.
Mistakes bring us forward!