This I Believe

Brittany - Mesquite, Texas
Entered on April 17, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Lessons of Humility

I believe in mistakes. George Bernard Shaw says that “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spend doing nothing.” And I think this is true. Everyone makes them, no matter his or her station in life. Whether someone is wealthy or poor, smart or dumb, male or female, it makes no difference. Everyone makes mistakes. Some are learned from, some are hidden away in shame, swept away under the rug, some are forgotten, and some are even put down in history books. Some mistakes are the greatest discoveries in history, America coming to mind.

I believe that mistakes are the only thing that every single person on the planet has in common. I know that no one is perfect, yet people still strive for this concept, this idea of perfection. I don’t know why that is. It seems to me that if everyone was perfect, that if no one ever made mistakes, then life would be very dull. Nothing interesting would ever happen. If no one ever made a single mistake, then how would people learn? And, if there was a fight between people, how would there ever be a winner? How would human kind ever advance? I know for a fact that I am the person I am today because of the mistakes I’ve made, and the lessons I’ve learned throughout my life.

Without these mistakes, without these lessons, I wouldn’t be the girl with the pink elephant with a blue nose because of a watercolor painting incident, or the girl who tore up one of her best (and mother’s favorite) dresses so she would never have to wear one again, or even the girl who learned how not to iron by burning her arm. Instead, I would be someone completely different. I would have grown arrogant, believing that I knew everything and I would never, ever be wrong. And I would have stopped learning. And then I may as well be dead. An unenlightened mind is no mind at all, and one who stops learning stops living. So yes, I believe in mistakes. I believe in them because of believe in the motion of life.