Describe a setback, failure, or ethical dilemma you have faced. How did you resolve it? What impact did it have on you? What would you do differently if you could go back in time?
In the words of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall.” Whether in ancient days or the present, this phrase holds true for all of humanity. It holds true for my life as well, as I came to realize early last spring. I had already been writing as a staff member of The Tower newspaper staff for two years at that time. Our prestigious paper had won numerous awards, and I had even traveled to the Big Apple for a week to accept a handful of them with about a dozen other staff members.But I had become too comfortable with my position, and had fallen into too deep of a rut. I will admit it: towards the end of my second year I really started to slack off. I made the inappropriate assumption that our advisor would never cut me, for I was an experienced member who had already been on staff for two years. I turned in my application for my third year on staff with little worry. I was shocked and upset to tears when I received a letter one month later informing me that I had been cut from next year’s staff. Looking back on it now, though, I can remember that deep inside me, I was not all that surprised at being cut – I knew I had been guilty of doing the bare minimum amount of work. After numerous conversations with my advisor, I was given a second chance.Since that failure last spring, I have been challenged to rise above the standards I held for myself before I had been cut. I believe I have risen to the occasion brilliantly, elevating far beyond any of my expectations for myself before being dropped from the staff. In the first quarter of this school year I had twice as many stories published as I had published in the fourth quarter of last year. I maintained well above an A plus grade in the class first quarter, and currently have the option of having one of my articles published in our local newspaper. Most importantly, my advisor knew my full potential, and he also knew I had not given that to the staff yet. I have realized that if my advisor had not cut me from the staff when he did, he would have been the only one who knew my full potential – I would have been left in the dark with the rest of the staff and our readers.I have only my advisor to thank for my realization of one of the most important aspects of life itself: the fact that everyone deserves a second chance. Likewise, I have only my determination to thank for my accomplishments since last spring. While I had read of Confucius’s saying about glory before now, I had never truly understood it’s full meaning until the past few months. I have finally come to realize that glory rests not in never falling and never taking risks, but in picking one’s self up again, every time you fall.