Throughout a child’s life, there are many teachers: parents, school instructors, and friends. These teachers mold their personalities. Children are left with little doubt and room to become their own. Their beliefs are shaped by those closest to them. This was the case with me. My parents shaped my religious viewpoints. They gave me their perspective on politics. My teachers taught me how to do mathematics and articulate my thoughts. My friends influenced my sense of style and music choices. Everything I was had been shaped by others. However, what I learned could only be dictated by me.
When I was eleven, I got my only detention. I wrote a mean and inappropriate note about a boy I did not like. He was a very unpopular boy, and I was a mean junior high student. I was told a joke by my friends that they reworded to be about him. I then decided to share this joke with a friend by writing it in a note. The teacher found the note and gave me detention. She stapled the note to the detention slip my parents needed to sign. Their disappointment made me feel worse than any detention could have. They made me write the eighth commandment over and over. ‘Thou shall not give false testimony against thy neighbor.’ I can still remember the horrible feeling I had in my stomach. I had never been in that kind of trouble before. I had never felt true disappointment from my parents. I had never tried to disappoint them because I knew that I would not like the consequences; however, I never truly learned why I should not disappoint them until I felt their disappointment. My mistake taught me this and I never received a detention again.
Beyond learning important lessons, I have made mistakes in every aspect of my life. I am human, I am imperfect. I, however, am not discouraged. I grow and try again. I try new things, make mistakes, and from those mistakes I learn to perfect my skills. I took up snowboarding last winter and I did not learn instantly. In fact, I fell every ten feet I went down the hill. I was bruised and sore, but not disheartened. I got up again and continued to learn how to snowboard. Nothing comes instantly. Practice and mistakes are necessary parts of learning. Picking yourself back up again only makes you stronger, no matter what the task at hand is.
For right now, I will make mistakes. I will continue to do so until eventually I have learned all I can. I will never stop making mistakes, but I will also never stop learning because I believe mistakes are what help me get through life. Mistakes are my truest learning tool.
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