Mistakes Are Important
Start writing a post

Mistakes Are Important

You learn so much more from the bottom than you will ever learn from the top.

Mistakes Are Important
Tara McLamore

Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, has regrets. If you don't, then you're quite possibly close to perfect and your life is probably extremely boring. Seriously, we have all done things that we wish we hadn't, and we have all said things that we wish we would have kept to ourselves— can I get an amen? The truth is, we mess up. We're human. It is our human nature to mess up and hit rock bottom. Our mistakes do not define who we are, but teach us to become who we strive to be.

On my first day of fourth grade, my teacher did a little "experiment" to teach the class a valuable lesson on choosing our words wisely. She had a paper plate, a spoon, a toothpick, and a tube of toothpaste. As she began to squeeze the toothpaste onto the paper plate, she asked the class to observe how smoothly the toothpaste squeezed out of the tube. We watched the minty-green-colored toothpaste fall onto the plate as the room filled with silence and confusion. When she finished squeezing out the toothpaste, she asked, "Do you see how easily the toothpaste oozes out of the tube?" We nodded in agreement. She then told us something that I probably won't ever forget. She said, "It is a lot like the way we speak to others. Our words come out quickly and easily." After she got us thinking, she then opened up the package of toothpicks and began attempting to put the toothpaste back into the tube using a toothpick. When doing so she said, "It is very easy to say things but it isn't as easy to take them back."

What I learned on my first day of fourth grade has stuck with me ever since. Have I said things that I wish I could take back since then? Absolutely—I am far from perfect. But, that day, I learned something more than just how to choose my words carefully. I learned that, although sometimes my words come out fast like toothpaste, I still learn a lesson each time that I am trying to act as the toothpick and repair the damage that I have already done.

My mistakes have taught me more than they have hurt me. Each time I do something that is regrettable, I learn from that mistake rather than spend time regretting it. I am in college—I struggle constantly. I struggle in school, in my relationships, and in my faith. Wherever you are currently in life, I am sure that your struggles are similar. Those struggles have brought me farther than I would have ever thought and I am grateful for the times that I have failed. I am grateful that I have hurt others because, now, I won't hurt people in that way again. I am grateful that I have disappointed myself because, now, I won't disappoint myself in the same way ever again. I am grateful that I have messed up because my mess-ups have taught me how to overcome things.

When I have hit rock bottom, I learned more being down than I have ever learned from being at the top. It is when we are acting as the toothpicks in our own lives that we are learning valuable lessons from our mistakes. Being at the bottom is never pointless. Although there is pain and unbelievable doubt, what we experience while we are down will only push us further up.

It is not when we are living perfectly and life is going smoothly that we should be the most thankful. It is when we are hurting that we are learning. Regrets? I don't have any. I have learned a valuable lesson from all of my failures and I do not regret a single one.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

College as Told by The Lord of the Rings Memes

One does not simply pass this article.


College as told by the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit memes. Everyone will be Tolkien about it.

Keep Reading... Show less

A Tribute To The Lonely Hispanic

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I’d like to share a few thoughts about being Hispanic in a country where it’s hard to be Hispanic.

Veronika Maldonado

Just a little background information; my dad was born in Mexico, came to the U.S. as a newborn and became a citizen when he was 25 years old. My mom was born and raised in the U.S. as were my grandparents and great grandparents, but my great-great grandparents did migrate here from Mexico. I am proud to classify myself as Hispanic but there are times when I feel like I’m living a double life and I don’t fit into either one.

Keep Reading... Show less

Dear College Football

It's not you, it's me.


Dear College Football,

Keep Reading... Show less

Hurricane Preparedness

In Louisiana and many other states, it is important to have a hurricane plan

Munger Construction

With hurricane season, it's always best to be prepared for it. It means having a plan for your family and home. Everyone in Louisiana should know the basics of preparing for hurricane season.

Keep Reading... Show less

An Atlanta Weekend

A New Yorker's quick weekend in Atlanta.


On a weekend visit to Atlanta, I had to adjust to people being personable and congenial to me. Although I had lived in the South before, I had to get reacquainted with southern hospitality due to visiting from Brooklyn. Atlanta Uber drivers are very down to earth, offer snacks, and provide great genuine conversations. The opposite is the lay of the land from Brooklyn Uber drivers. The southern hospitality is provided not only from the Uber drivers, but restaurant servers, cashiers, or random people giving suggestions. Brooklyn is a dope and unique place to live, but short on the warmth more often than not.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments