This I Believe

Kermit - Parker, Colorado
Entered on May 7, 2007

The Biggest Part of Learning

Why is it that so many people want to be perfect? The life of of a perfectionist is often one of frustration and boredom. Mistakes connect us better with as well as make good stories to tell when we get old.

As a child, I often copied what I saw. This curiosity often got me into trouble and caused me to get hurt as well. I didn’t learn anything until something directly and immediately affected me. One day on the preschool playground, I was still hungry after snack. So I scavenged for scraps. The only thing I saw was a Ritz cracker covered with ants, but I wasn’t afraid of ants, not even fire ants, I could kill them if I wanted to, and what could they do to me? I was about to find out.

I picked up the cracker and shook it to knock the ants off. Most of them left, but a few lingered. I put the cracker up to my mouth, and just as I was about to indulge in the tastiness that is Ritz, a fire ant bit me right on the lip. I immediately and stared crying. If that wasn’t bad enough, half of the colony had crawled up my arm and all over my body. When the preschool teachers saw what I had done, they made me take off my clothes and rinse in the sink. While the experience may have scarred me and given me a permanent fear of all things that crawl, I think that was only way that I would learn not to eat something alive. These things cannot be taught in a lecture, especially in one to a three year old.

One of my favorite vacation spots has always been my grandparents’ house. I loved it there because they encouraged me to use my imagination. Once, I was playing in the mini-pool and a cat got into the water with me. My grandma took this mysterious black devise with a button on it and pointed it towards the cat. I didn’t sense anything happening, but the cat ran away. Later that day, I took my new found toy to the horses near the end of the property. When I pressed that button, one of the horse went wild and started bucking. I froze with fear and dropped what had just become my new enemy and ran away. I learned a lot that day and none of it would have happened if I hadn’t played with the beeper.

A lot of things in life are that way, what seems to be something small can change someones life or change their way of thought. Also the mistakes people make become stories they later tell. When I get older, I want to have lots of stories.