I Believe in Mistakes

Kristina - Biloxi, Mississippi
Entered on December 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

People have made mistakes since the beginning of time. History is a series of mistakes. Caesar made mistakes that cost him his life. Adolf Hitler made mistakes that cost millions their lives. Our current president has made many mistakes putting soldier’s lives at stake every day. I have made many mistakes, although they have not cost anyone their lives that I know of.

I did not make the healthiest decisions growing up. I have made poor choices when it has come to friendships. I have told secrets I promised to keep. I have allowed rumors to get wildly out of hand. I have lied. I have gone against my morals and family based values. These are mistakes I have learned from and they have shaped me into the woman I currently am and those situations will never bring me down again.

I will be the first to admit that I have made several mistakes with my children. One occasion I remember all too clearly. I walked in the living room of my home and my daughter had an open one ounce container of fragrance oil, emptied. I grabbed her face and smelled her breath. That’s when she told me, “Mommy my mouth is pretty.” There is no worse feeling than having the nurse put your child in a room at the emergency room and overhearing him tell the resident doctor that the poisoned baby is in room two.

Although my mistakes are embarrassing statements of what I have done, they do not define me. They are merely lessons. I believe in mistakes. Mistakes are a good thing especially if you can admit them, and if you can learn from them, then they make you a better person, partner, and parent. Although we can listen to stories of mistakes close friends have recently made, we don’t always learn until we make the same mistakes ourselves. I believe we learn more from making our own mistakes than from our successful trials. When you are successful at something, thoroughly successful, you do not ponder the ways it can go wrong, because it has not, and will not, you are too great at it. This pondering, and worrying we do, helps us to stay grounded. Success sometimes comes too easily.

So at the sake of a horribly over used cliché, live and learn.