Seven years ago, a dispatcher in Detroit was fired for allegedly mishandling a 911 call. Thinking the call was a prank, the dispatcher was skeptical with the child calling 911, and as it turns out, she was incorrect.
I was a cocky young EMT headed for paramedic school, and I looked at a local who had become a mentor of mine and shook my head. I wondered out loud how anyone in such an important vital position could possibly let that happen. I also voiced out loud my thoughts on what would happen to her. I expected his full support and agreement, but surprisingly, that didn’t happen. He sighed, looked at me, and shook his head. “When they all calm down, they’ll remember that people make mistakes,” he said.
Like so many of the things I had heard there, it stuck with me.
A few short weeks ago, it was decided by a judge that mistakes were made in the handling of the Kirtland Products matter. While his decision may seem unilateral, both sides were addressed in his opinion, and mistakes were made across the board. If the actions of the past two years are any indication, people may be quick to jump on the bandwagon. It might be easy for some of us to mob up and wave our fists (metaphorically, I hope). It could even be simple to shake our heads, deciding what should happen to anyone and everyone responsible for this.
The truth is that while we all have an opinion and have something to say, we need to remember that people make mistakes. We will never truly know what was going on in anyone’s head.
Did members of the Planning Commission really intend to make a move that they didn’t have the legal just cause to make?
Did Kirtland Products intend to represent their company’s noise level in a fashion other than what it was?
Was it the goal of anyone to be intolerant? unkind?
If not, then what we have on our hands here is a mistake. In fact, what we have on our hands here is a whole group of potential mistakes, and regardless of what side people fall on, they should be able to see that.
The truth is, when the dust settles, mistakes will have been made. Forgive each other, learn from shared experiences, and continue onward.
As for the story I led in with, in 2009, an arbitrator told the City of Detroit that they had to reinstate the dispatcher who made the mistake. Three years after the incident occurred, it was decided that indeed a mistake had been made.
People learn, people grow, and people continue living their lives despite making and being victim to mistakes every single day.
I hope Boyne City can be so lucky as to continue focusing on developing, growing, and each day progressing towards an even more beautiful and loving community.