March 17, 2010
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They taught me about respect. You respect your parents, teachers, adult figures. They taught me to forgive. You forgive the people who might have hurt you physically or emotionally. They taught me the different kinds of love. You have love for your parents, friends, aunts, uncles, godparents and that special someone.
They taught me to never be weak. You always have to keep your head up no matter what. They taught me to have an open mind. Never say never. They taught me to never fall into peer pressure. You have the power to say no. They taught me the power of love. Don’t say the word too often; say it when you really mean it.
They taught me all these great life lessons. At sixteen, I’ve learned through experiences with each of these lessons. But they forgot to teach me one important lesson—the lesson on failure.
Say you’re good at something: math, science, writing, riding, basketball, football, swimming, hockey. The word failure should never be in your vocabulary; you’re taught the word success. Your parents and coaches all teach you that word. I remember my old coach would be unhappy if I ever said I failed. He would make me swim even more. But it taught me a lesson to never give up no matter how hard it gets.
Last year I had magnificent success in my swimming career. I thought this year would be the same. I ended up failing at sectionals and doing horrible. Swimming is the one thing I am good at. But I was never taught how to cope with this kind of failure.

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