People make mistakes, it is simply a way of life. Most people make little mistakes cause no harm; while few make severe mistakes that betray the trust of their peers and most importantly to themselves. I tell you this because I, being the human that I am, have made mistakes, and I have also made a severe mistake, which is why I am telling this story. Knowing full well the action I was taking, and the consequences it would most likely bring, I committed the act of plagiarism. Weeks after I turned in the assignment I was caught and dealt with accordingly. I do not think that there was any punishment my teacher, or the administration could bear upon me that would compare to my guilt. I felt an extreme dissatisfaction with myself. I feared that my teacher and the administrative staff would remember me as a cheater, and from that point on, everything I would do would be put into question. Yet as time progressed, it seemed more like my teacher and the administration cared less that I cheated, and more that I learn from this mistake. I realize now, looking back, and writing this story that they are also human, and as such, they have made mistakes as well. Did they walk around dreading their mistakes, whatever they may have been? No, The answer is simple, they learned from their mistakes…they keep on living life, because in the grand scheme of things, we don’t have that long. My teacher and the administration have learned to cherish the good times, and gain experience from the bad. And it is that ideal that I have learned to take from this experience, I share my experience with you, so that you do not dwell on your past actions, what you have done wrong, or something you could have done more. I once heard a quote, and it stuck with me, and I hope it hit’s a nerve with you as well. I find this very ironic but I have counted several internet sites that claim who, really, came up with this quote, just a few are: Barry LePatner, Jim Horning, some person named anonymous, and (God-forbid) Chuck Norris. The quote goes like this, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” In life, we will all make mistakes, and regardless what anyone tells you, it is how we learn from those mistakes that defines who we are. Thank you.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.