What Was Right About Steve Harvey's Miss Universe Mistake

By Kaley Thompson Steve Harvey mistakenly announced the wrong contestant as Miss Universe. Many news lines titled this an "epic fail” or a “mistake.” And it was. However, there are quite a few things we can learn from Mr. Harvey about how to do the right thing when we’ve said the wrong words.

1. “I have to apologize.” As soon as Harvey realized he had done something wrong, he said he was sorry. He didn’t blame someone else or try to tap dance around it as a distraction.  He cut to the chase.  The willingness to say “my bad” often leads to finding the good.

2. “I will take responsibility for this.  It was my mistake.” We’ve all had Miss Universe sized mistake moments.  We’ve said something and immediately wanted to take it back.  We’ve spoken to soon and all we want to do is put our foot in our mouth. When we’re embarrassed about our mess up, fight the urge to run off stage and hide.  Like Harvey, stand your ground and own your wrong. Then the opportunity is yours to set things right.

3. “This was a terribly honest human mistake and I am so regretful.” In Harvey’s tweet about the mishap, he recognizes something surprisingly raw and beautiful. It's a lifting thought most of us cannot find when we’re pulled down by the weight of shame — that he’s human.  And you’re human.  And we mess up a lot.  While we don’t get to hit the rewind button on our recorded wrong, we can walk into our future with sympathy and hope. Because not one of us are perfect, we’re just perfectly loved by a God whose grace covers all our mistakes.

As you’re headed into Christmas week, maybe you’re thinking about that Miss Universe sized mess up you had between a family member you’re going to see or a friend who will be at your holiday party.  Throw off all of the “epic fail” titles or any gossip said about it. Give your situation a new, true name. “Rekindled relationship.” “Best parent award.” “I’m the comeback kid.” And move forward knowing that when you admit your mistakes, take responsibility and show grace toward yourself and others, your greatest mess up can become the launching pad for your brightest future.

Kaley Thompson is the chief storyteller at People of the Second Chance. She lives in Charlotte, NC and wears a sparkly motorcycle helmet.

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