Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
Alas, with senior citizenship come regrets. In youth all of our errors we tend to take little notice of, quickly forgive ourselves for and pass them over for the next adventure But they turn out to have done nothing more than stack up under the proverbial carpet. Then comes the house cleaning time when we lift up the carpet and have to clean up the mess.
Isn't it a shame that we can't go back and undo all the dumb things we did? Why weren't we perfect at the time? Why did I forget to do this, failed to do that and did the other thing wrong? Maybe I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.
The fact is that there has never been a human who didn't make mistakes. How do they get by without taking a hatchet to their heads?
"To err is human, to forgive, divine," goes the old saying. Sure, we have to learn to forgive those who have done us wrong, either intentionally or by accident. That's a divine thing to do. But what about forgiving ourselves?
Some of my past mistakes still haunt me, and they will attack me unexpectedly, like mosquitos. I mentally dig a hole and bury them and some of them stay buried, some don't. Others are too big to bury. What to do, what to do?!
Gandhi is telling us that we have the freedom to make mistakes. Well, it seems to me that if we have the freedom to do that then we also have the right and freedom to forgive ourselves for those mistakes. Most of us don't exercise that right often enough. And so we live with the memory of errors that should have been discarded into the trash heap and left to rot somewhere long ago.
You will be surprised at what other people think of you when you realize how often they don't. So when the next regret pops into your head, look it right in the eye and say "I forgive you."