Blake - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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Many people pour their hearts into avoiding mistakes because they want to be perfect. They see mistakes as disastrous. However, I see mistakes in a more optimistic way. I believe that mistakes can only make us sharper later in life. However, to those who can’t recognize their own mistakes, this belief is meaningless.

This belief goes back to when my dad was just a small boy. When my dad immigrated to the U.S., his parents couldn’t drive him to or from school because they were too busy working. Whenever my dad walked home, a dog would always jump all over my dad and bite him. My dad ran home to my grandpa crying. My grandpa told him, “Don’t run from it and let it attack you. Next time, defend yourself and fight back.”

That same day, my grandpa took to my dad to where the dog always attacked him. And when the dog saw my dad, he ran towards him barking. My dad listened to what my grandpa told him. He swung his leg at the dog as hard as he could. The dog ran away, tail between its legs, yelping. With some good help, my dad was able to learn what went wrong in his mistake, and used the knowledge gained by experience to better himself. The dog never bothered my dad again, and to this day, my dad has never had any problems with dogs of all sizes.

Mistakes in my life have always bore consequences of varying intensities. I still try my best not to make mistakes, but at the same time, I know they’ll happen and I accept them as a basic part of human life. No one, matter how hard they try, is flawless. Many people are crushed when something goes wrong. But when I make a mistake, I just brush it off and learn from it to help myself. However, the key to this is to know what the mistake was. If you can’t learn anything from a mistake, then you’re not gaining any valuable knowledge, you’re just opening the floodgates for more of the same problems that will be more and more severe.

With every mistake I make, I know that it will only make me become stronger and smarter later in my life. I always make sure to ask my self, “What went wrong?” and “How can I make sure to forever avoid this?” Over the past few years, mistakes have rarely even phased me. At certain times, I welcome mistakes as a unique gift for me. I wouldn’t ever give anything want to be flawless. I love knowing that I can forever continue to become stronger and sharper. All it takes is a mistake. And this, I believe.

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