All throughout The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of the main characters, Hester Prynne spends most of her time owning up to her scandalous mistake by giving back to the poor and wearing her scarlet letter daily. She realizes that what she did was wrong and unforgivable according to the Puritan law. Instead of wallowing in her guilt and spending time making excuses for her sin, she proves to the town that she understands that what she did was wrong and earns their respect again.
The message that this story is very relevant even in today’s society. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s only natural, but when you do make a mistake, own up to it. Don’t make up excuses for what you did or pin the blame on someone else. No matter how big or small of the mistake you made, realize what you did wrong and learn from it. Sure it may be easier to justify why you made the mistake, but that only makes yourself look bad and miss an opportunity to learn from your past.
While reading this novel I couldn’t help but think about the pop-culture movie Mean Girls. It is not the most educational movie, but the main character, Cady makes a mistake of pretending to be someone she is not and turning into someone that she wasn’t proud of. However, through a series of crazy and unlikely events, Cady realizes that what she did was wrong and owns up to her mistake by trying to make things right. She apologizes for all her wrongs and applies what she learned from her mistake to her future.
Owning up to your mistakes only helps you grow into a better person. They don’t define who you are unless you let them. Each day is filled with mistakes, it’s up to you to learn from them.