I Believe This

Colin - Muskegon, Michigan
Entered on May 15, 2008

I believe that people rarely learn from their mistakes. You can claim that you always have learned from your mistakes, and maybe you have, but you, along with the rest of the world, (including me), rarely act out what you learn. The sad fact is that the human population always falls back into patterns it is familiar with. I’ve personally seen several cases of this.

A non-severe case of this could be a student failing a class. Some students fail their classes incessantly and continue to fail them, despite help from teachers or parents or counselors. This is a perfect example. I’ve lost credit before for not completing or even starting a rough draft of papers; yet despite my mistakes I never learned from them. I still don’t finish my rough drafts on time, and almost never do I start them. I know I should do the work, but I just don’t. It’s not that hard to start a rough draft and it’s imperative that I do, but for some reason I always fall back on old patterns and habits and refuse change instead of embracing it.

An example showing the hopeful, contradicting side of this phenomenon is a select few with drug addictions. My friend was a pretty bad alcoholic and dabbled into various drugs. His life sunk to a low point that was his rock bottom. He was abusing alcohol daily as well as taking prescription medicine nearly daily. He was a wreck: unorganized, lost, scatter-brained. His mind only wandered to when he could get drunk or high next, and his life spiraled downward. So in response to that, he changed. It took him years to do it, but he finally learned from his mistakes. He no longer identifies himself with drugs. This is an extremely rare case, as many people often return to the vices that held them hostage, particularly with drugs. The reason I tell this to you is to show you that even though some cases have a hopeful “light at the end of the tunnel” outlook, most cases come out horribly, resulting in death, either of the addict or an innocent person.

The phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” comes to my mind when I think of this topic because even though some people cheat, they rarely learn from their mistakes. The majority of cheaters dare to cheat again, and rarely do they ever change or see a need for change. This is a far more common outcome than them changing. I find it particularly sad that they choose to do this to themselves.

Every human is guilty of refusing change and not learning through mistakes though, even me. All we can do is strive for change. When it comes, we can either embrace it or reject it. I choose the former.