Dear Kate Margenroth,
In life we learn from our mistakes. Learning from them can shape and form our lives. When something goes wrong and we're punished for it, let's face it, it probably happened for a good reason. Others may disagree with that and think punishments serve no purpose, but our punishments do affect you whether they are big or small. I think the book Jude really portrays that.
Usually, I would be one totally against punishments. I mean who enjoys being punished? No one! But a year ago I got into some trouble; I did something that I will always regret. I had gotten caught for shoplifting. When people look at me they usually see a shy, quiet girl and as crazy as it may sound, that was something I did. Today, I'm still surprised that I would ever do such a thing. I knew it was wrong, yet I did it anyway. Once I had to speak to the authorities, my parents, and take a class, and it honestly changed my life forever. I was only thinking of myself and not others. It turns out when I took things from a store, the store's employees paid for it out of their paychecks. People had worked hard to earn their money, and because of people like that they had to pay for their consequences. That made me feel like a terrible person just taking from others like that, and it still gets to me.
In the book Jude learned from his own mistakes. He had taken a schoolmate to his old neighborhood to buy drugs. Then later the kid died of an overdose. He may not have sold the kid drugs, but he was still part of that mess. Deep down he knew that, and knew he shouldn't have done that. That was just like my thought process when I shoplifted. I knew it was wrong, but I still went for it and did it anyway. Jude went to jail even though he hadn't sold any drugs, but while he was locked up he changed a lot. His mom was extremely disappointed in him and he couldn't stand her thinking of him as a great disappointment. Having your parents tell you that you broke their heart and they think of you differently, that truly hurts. That was what got me the most when my parents found out. That I greatly disappointed them, and they weren't sure who I was. For Jude's mom, she didn't know the true story, but he knew he still had a part in it. And he didn't like the idea of that.
What I did will always stay with me, but at least I learned my lesson and got what I deserved. In the end I came out a better person because of it. I make careful decisions and think of how it may affect others before I make them. I am more grateful for what I have, and understand just how hard my parents work to give me the best life they possibly can. As for Jude, he started changing himself while he was in jail. When he was in school he had terrible grades, but he worked hard and long to earn his GED. Once he earned his GED, he moved onto getting a college education. As cheesy as it may sound, he went into jail and left a man. He cares about others, and tries to think things through. He was one who cared about his future and what he was going to be.
In life we make mistakes, but were human and they are bound to happen. We learn both right and wrong when we make mistakes. When being punished we may take what is being said and told to heart. Those experiences make you view things differently, and can definitely change who you are. They have potential for completely changing who you are, but in the end things may change for the better. Looking back, you may be ashamed for what you did, but you need to remember it's in the past.