If Thomas Jefferson had liquid paper.

Liquid Paper is one of the greatest things ever invented. We use it to correct mistakes that we have written or typed. They even have colored liquid paper in case you are using colored paper…fascinating. So many times I have looked at my bottle of liquid paper and just said “thank you”. Not out loud, that would be insane, but I have thought it to myself.

Thomas Jefferson didn’t have liquid paper when he was writing the Declaration of Independence. Imagine the pressure–you are writing a document to the most powerful country in the world telling them to fuck off and if you make a mistake, you have to start over. You are alone in a dark room lit with a candle and as you write with your quill on the parchment words that will be forever remembered, you can’t make a mistake. I suppose it required him to think through every thought, every word in the most precise of manner. In the end, Thomas Jefferson was perfect.

What if life had liquid paper? A correction fluid that you could use to correct mistakes that you have made, or terrible things you have said and done. You could pull out the bottle of Life’s Liquid Paper and cover it up, go back, and begin again. Wouldn’t that be great? No one would be hurt, and if they were it wouldn’t last long because Life’s Liquid Paper would cover it up and let you re-do it.The truth is, when we use regular liquid paper WE know we made a mistake. WE know what we wrote under the cover up of dried liquid goo. It may not appear to the reader of your document, but you know what the mistake was.

I wonder what the Declaration of Independence would look like today if TJ had Liquid Paper at his disposal…Would he have thought twice about saying “When in the course of human events…”? Would we see correction after correction? Would the document be half as good? I don’t think so. Jefferson was forced to think long and hard about every move, every stroke. Liquid Paper would have hindered his masterpiece.

Life’s Liquid Paper would cover up mistakes, but you still would know they were there. The question is, would you take measures to correct the mistakes, or would you cover them up and hope those who view your life will settle for the change and never hold you accountable? We have Life’s Liquid Paper, but many times we don’t know it. We have phrases like “Just Kidding” or “Don’t get mad but…” or “No offense”. And we have the greatest cover of them all, “I’m sorry.” Apologies do make us feel better and they are required and the right thing to do when you do something bad or wrong. I am not suggesting saying “sorry” isn’t enough. It is though in a sense Life’s Liquid Paper. You can cover your mistakes with the phrase, but you still know deep down what you said or did. What will you do with that knowledge? Will you accept the cover up, or will you think longer and harder before you do and say something?

Our lives are like a Declaration of Independence. We write a part of our document each day and just like Jefferson, we have no idea the effect it will have on the world around us. Jefferson didn’t have liquid paper, and neither do we when it comes to living. If we took the same care in our own lives that he did when writing his masterpiece, Life’s Liquid Paper would never be necessary. I feel each mistake I make and I take steps to correct them when needed. As I continue to write the great document of my life each day, I begin to look ahead to the sentences I want included. I do not know how they will turn out, but I guarantee one thing–as I hold the quill to the parchment, I will give every thought, every word the greatest of care.

Just like Jefferson did.