Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
Student’s Full Name
My First Defeat
The first defeat, that one that cuts through your bones, knocks you off your feet and leaves you stuttering. That is the one I shall recount today. When I was a kid, I used to play in a park located in my neighborhood. I had some friends, and we used to gang up to play whatever we had in mind. One day, we decided to play a friendly game of baseball. To be completely honest, I’m pretty regular at sports, but I have always considered myself a competitive person. That time we were playing against some kids who were from another street, we did not know them, but we had one of those petty children rivalries against them. We sat up to play, and we were winning. Suddenly, things changed, as one of my friends made a mistake, we were on the verge of losing. When it was my turn at bat, I got striked out, I do not know if it had something to do with my nerves, or simply that the other kid threw some good pitches, but I was not able to bat that ball, despite having connected some solid hits earlier. The thing is that, it did not matter what the rest of my teammates did, we ended up losing the game. Nobody blamed me, but I blamed myself for not being able to turn the game around and grant my team the victory. It was really sad if you ask me. With the years, I learned to understand that victories are not simply earned; we must fight for it, as I did. I learned that, in fact, I was not a loser, for a loser is the one who does not try, because he fears he might fail. To have been striked out, was my first defeat, but also one of the greatest discoveries of my childhood, that the real loser is the one who does not swim for fear of the sea. In complete honesty, I am still afraid, afraid that I might fail, that I might not graduate, fear of disappointing myself, but as Theodore Roosevelt said: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” I know defeat, and those defeats lead me to appreciate victories, and understand that losing is not necessarily bad if it teaches us to fare a good fight.
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