Why is it that some people seem to confuse “mistake” with “conscious choice”?
It’s a mistake to accidentally grab the salt, thinking it is sugar, thus ruining an entire batch of cookies. It’s a mistake to call someone by the wrong name because you honestly were confused, or to unintentionally mistake a person for his or her look-alike sibling. Taking a wrong turn and getting lost is a mistake. Mistakes are unintentional.
When someone steals, lies or cheats, they are making a conscious decision to do so. At some point, they have given themselves permission. They didn’t make a mistake; they knew exactly what they were doing. The mistake may have been thinking they wouldn’t be caught, or thinking they wouldn’t regret it, or thinking there would be no consequences.