A Lesson Learned Essay, Research Paper
Joy, pure unadulterated joy! How else can I possibly describe the filling that
came over me as we planned for our illegal, and immoral act.
It was the day before my 10th birthday. September 10, 1978. All I could think of
was the wonderful birthday party I was going to have and with any luck the 10-speed
bike that I had been eyeing at the local Western Auto. But, when I mentioned the bike to
my mother the look on her face quickly told of great disappointment in the near future.
So when my best friend Elsie devised a plan that ensured my birthday being topped off
with the best 10-speed bike in the neighborhood I quickly agreed.
Elsie was notorious for getting whatever she wanted by any means necessary.
And she almost never got in trouble for her crimes. So, when she suggested we go door
to door asking for donations for our church I didn?t think twice about it. I quickly found
an old envelop and set off with my best friend for what I thought was to be the most
profitable journey of our lives.
As we approached the first house I suddenly froze in place. Elsie assured me
everything was fine and it was too late to back out. I reluctantly proceeded to the
neighbor?s doorway. After stumbling out our reason for needing a donation the neighbor
graciously handed us three $1.00 bills. I could not believe it! She just gave us the money
with no questions asked. And if she did, then the rest of the neighborhood would
probably do the same. And they did.
A few hours later, after going to nearly every house in our neighborhood,
suddenly my excitement and joy was replaced with guilt, and regret. As Elsie sat and
count the money that we?d just collected, I could only think about was the big sin we had
just committed in the name of the Church. Suddenly that big 10-speed bike didn?t seem
so big or appealing.
Later that evening with a little persuasion for Elsie, I returned home and told my
mother that I had the money for the bike. She immediately demanded I tell her where the
money came from. Being a young, nieve 9-year-old I hadn?t given any thought to what
my answer would be if she questioned where the money came from. So, I did the next
best thing. I broke down, cried, and confessed my sin.
After a much deserved spanking my mother told me how disappointed she was.
She also assured me that my punishment was far from over. That following Sunday after
canceling my birthday party my mother took me to church and made me confess what I
had done to the entire congregation. I thought my mother was merely trying to punish
me. I know she was trying to teach me a lesson in taking responsibility for my actions. I
often thank her for that.