Keri Russell

Actress Keri Russell states that, “Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever” (Keri Russell). In decision making, being responsible and learning from our past mistakes are essential throughout one's life. Tony Robbins, an American author stated, “It is your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped” (Milne, et. al). In other words, any important decisions that one makes, defines them. In the novel, The Giver, written by Lois Lowry, the characters have many restrictions and lack of free will. At the age of twelve, the characters are assigned a job based on their capabilities and attributes (Lowry). The characters in the novel have loads of aid when achieving their tasks. In today’s society, many adolescent students are provided with constant assistance as well. In The Giver, the characters in the novel all work independently but learn from their mistakes. Although in modern day society, we mainly work collaboratively, yet we do not learn from our mistakes. Throughout life, it is best to work collaboratively. Working 100% of your effort, while learning from only your mistakes. Do you want to put a ton of stress on yourself, and not learn from your mistakes?

Working collaboratively has many benefits that helps us in the future. Countless amounts of doctors around the United States say that working collaboratively helps one understand many factors (Brenner). Not only the material students work on, but also how to be open-minded to other people. By working collaboratively, students understand what they are learning better. Their test scores can even raise as much as 25% (Bryson). Dr. Vishal Varia, a Ph.D. in Education states that friends help one another to reach their goals (Varia). When friends at the same age group collaborate in their work, they understand each other more (Varia). As an example, a classwork project for students to help each other out when needed. But in The Giver, the characters in the novel did not work collaboratively. They instead do very straightforward tasks independently, with no help needed. From this, no one is on the same page, which is highly unorganized. Doctors say that when being unorganized, stressful situations, inconsistency, and many health problems occur. Being unorganized can become a habit, which can lead to more severe conditions in the future. Such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, or even asthma (Griffin). The Giver demonstrates poor usage of collaboration. Characters in the novel work independently, which can cause an unorganized manner. An example of when characters in The Giver work independently is when Jonas, the protagonist of the novel does not have others working with him. All that he has for assistance with is his mentor, named The Giver. The Giver and Jonas are not in the same age; they may not understand each other. Jonas, as the Receiver of Memory deals with his own problems alone. In chapters 19 and 20, Jonas finds out that his father releases, kills babies. Therefore, Jonas had to deal with the pain himself, since this was very unfortunate for him to see what his father does. No one in the novel works collaboratively, but they work independently instead. Overall, people today don’t choose to work collaboratively, due to the technological advancements making them seem abstract. Working together can make one very organized, and open-minded. The Giver demonstrates characters working independently, which can cause stress, heart disease, depression, and countless more. People today that works just like in The Giver, would not learn from their mistakes, which leads having a hard time later on. Studies shown that it is better to work together, collaboratively from these factors.

Cheating is forbidden to anyone in society today. When cheating, many consequences occur soon after. According to Lauren Camera, an education specialist stated that students do not complete their school tasks independently anymore (Brenner). With the use of technology, students can search for answers with just a click of a button (Barseghian). Today, students are constantly trying to find their way out of assignments. Adolescents decide to cheat off into their assignments. Different ways would be such as, texting for answers during a test, sharing answers online, circulating exams, and countless more (Duffy). New York Times states that about 60% and counting of students in the United States had cheated before (Pѐrez-Peña). Yearly, the percentages gradually increase. This does not help students learn, nor work independently. Students now want to get their work done, rather than understanding the material itself. Students do not learn how to work independently and responsibly, because of the modern technological advancements (Duffy). Although in The Giver, the characters in the book all worked independently. Each individual had specific expectations to follow. One of the characters, Jonas, was assigned as the Receiver of Memory. Jonas had to follow many rules, especially since the Receiver of Memory is a very honored position to be in. One of these rules are, “Do not discuss your training with other members of the community, including parents and Elders” (Lowry). Every individual has to have the responsibility to follow these specific rules, or else they will be released. At age seven, children now get jackets with buttons on the front, to teach them independence (Lowry). This is the first step in this society to become more independent, since the youth learns to button up their jacket with no assistance. Overall, characters in the novel do not get their way out of tasks. They do not have cheating systems, as much as we do today. All their work is not done by themselves, only by them. The society that the children lived in was strict and very disciplined. Unlike today, many adolescent's work that they submit is not always their own. They heavily rely on the internet, and their electronic devices.

Learning from one’s mistakes can lead to success later on for many factors. Stella Adler, a famous American actress that made many mistakes during her acting years stated that, “you will only fail to learn if you do not learn from failing” (Brodsky). What Adler is trying to say is that everyone must learn from their mistakes, to become the best at something. From the current technological advancements, adolescent students do not focus on their work. Therefore, they will not learn from their mistakes, nor learn in general. Characters in The Giver, also make mistakes. An example of this is when Jonas’s best friend, Asher was young, he requested for a “smack” instead, of a “snack”. Asher got what he requested for, a smack, for incorrect use of language. Because of the major consequences these characters receive, they learned from their mistakes. Today, many people don’t make their own mistakes to start with. The book demonstrates punishment to other characters for making mistakes. Making a mistake in this society leads to very strict consequences. One time, Jonas wanted to take an apple from the park, yet he was reminded by the loudspeaker to not do so (Lowry). By the technological advancements, students today do not learn from their errors. Around 59% of students in the United States students plagiarized (Wangaard). Students that plagiarized, learns from other’s mistakes, and not their own. When learning the work has to be your own, in order to learn from the mistakes. In today’s society, we do not learn from our mistakes, since the work is not ours to start with. With the modern uses of technology, it is effortless to find ones answers. The Giver demonstrates a good example where it is best to learn from your mistakes. Although the rules are beyond strict, many characters in the book learn from their mistakes. Characters in the novel makes their own errors to start with, and eventually learns from them. We are so blessed to have all of the technology we have, with assistance we need for work. But many adolescents do not use technology, in the best way for them. Our society today needs to be more independent; resolve through their mistakes, learn from their mistakes, just like in the novel.

Imagine that someone works independently while using technology to cheat, and not learn from their mistakes. This is not a good approach to life. This person would be very unorganized, dishonest, and will never learn from their errors. To conclude, adolescents today heavily rely on their internet, when working on their assignments. Not all assignments that they submit, is not done all by themselves. By the uses of technology, adolescents become more independent and less open-minded. This can lead to stress, depression, diabetes, asthma, and countless more. Adolescents today, do not work collaboratively as much as they should. Other students do not learn from each other, nor be open-minded to others. But in The Giver, written by Lois Lowry, the novel gives an opposite alternative to today’s society. The society in the book is dull, but very strict. The major consequences that the characters face, is unbearable from our perspectives. It can be to have the spotlight from the speakers, to even death. The characters in the novel mainly work independently. They are not open-minded to other people in the society, nor learn from others. In life, it is best to work collaboratively. You get to improve yourself in a topic and be better open minded. It is also best to not rely on technology. You want to be honest in what you do. You want to learn from your mistakes, only your mistakes. To master in what you want to achieve in. Try in everything that you do, and being honest into your work. This can make your life so much better a million percent. Keri Russell once stated, “Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever” (Keri Russell). Every decision that you make, big, or small, matters throughout life.�

Works Cited:

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Brodsky, Norm. “The Importance of Learning From Your Mistakes.”, Inc., 29 Apr.


Barseghian, Tina. “Why Kids Need Schools to Change.” KQED, 22 Aug. 2013,

Duffy, Jill. “How Students Use Technology to Cheat.” PCMAG, 25 Mar. 2011,

Bryson, Eilisha Joy. Effectiveness of Working Individually Versus Cooperative Groups. July


Varia, Vishal. “Importance of Friends of Same Age.” LinkedIn, 27 Dec. 2016,

Griffin, R. Morgan. “10 Health Problems Related to Stress That You Can Fix.” WebMD,



Pérez-Peña, Richard. “Studies Show More Students Cheat, Even High Achievers.” The New York

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Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1993.

“A Quote from Consequences.” Goodreads, Goodreads,


Wangaard, David. “Plagiarism: Facts & Stats.” Plagiarismorg RSS, 7 June 2017,