Falling Down Hurts: But it Helps Us

I just got a message from a friend who had written weeks ago. He wanted to know how he could speak out loud without being shy and afraid. He worries that people will correct or criticize his speaking. Those who will correct us are our best friends.

Shyness is natural and criticism is important.  If others cannot criticize and correct us we cannot learn. I am now learning Arabic and face the same feelings as you.  I don't like to make mistakes, but it is how I learn the correct way of saying things.

We must just do the way little children do and speak without fear of correction,  because correction is the quickest way for us to learn.  You have seen children learning to walk.  They try to stand and take a step, but they fall back down.  If they had the same fear that we do as older people, they would never walk.  


We must be like the child who keeps getting up and trying over and over, even though we will fall again.


You may think, What if they laugh at me? 

Does laughter hurt?  Laugh at yourself right now.  I am laughing at myself. I am only a beginner in Arabic.


Are children hurt when they fall? Maybe they are hurt a little, but falling teaches them to walk.  

Will you learn to speak English well?  You can speak English very well someday, but you must have many falls along the way.


Your other choice is to spend the rest of your life crawling.  

It is your choice to make.  

Will you walk or will you crawl?  I will walk someday, even if it is painful.




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Tags: correction, criticism, speaking

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Comment by Lynne on June 25, 2011 at 15:45

Dear Teacher Bob,

It's not the first time for me to read this writing, now I am reading it again. It's really an excellent blog that holds a deeper purpose in life. 

Thank you for all your helpful and meaningful blogs.

Good day!


Comment by Khaliqur Rahman on May 11, 2011 at 9:10

I just read this nice piece, Bob! While I was reading, an Urdu couplet sneaked in and I dare share it with you without any fear, whatsoever, of falling apart. Now that I know you're learning Arabic, I can guess your receptivity!

Girtey hai'n shahsawaar hi maidan-e-jung me'n

Wo tifl kya gire'nge jo ghutno'n ke bal chale'n.!

Cavalrymen are those, who, in the battlefields, fall

Kids! Why would they fall? When only they crawl..!

Englishisation mine with apologies!

Best wishes


Comment by abd allah alnour on May 9, 2011 at 13:43

thank yu fro your advice m.r bop itry to learn english from 3 month but until now ican,t learn english so iwant to help me for this


Comment by aunglinwai on April 13, 2011 at 15:13



i can't express my thank beyond words. The ideology u have expressed in this comment is very nice. It is the simple way of  speaking like a baby walking.Will you walk or will you crawl?  I will walk someday, even if it is painful. 

the more we practice, the more we will walk.

i hope that give me some suggestion about my mistake.

Thank U Mr.Bob


Comment by lilidodo on March 24, 2011 at 11:16

Great Bob you are totally right!

This piece of advice is for all learners who are learning any new language!

I like that sentence :you must have many falls along the way.>> To learn, that is necessary.

All the best dear in your Arabic.


lilidodo :)

Comment by Bob on March 20, 2011 at 18:00

We all must walk.  Maybe we take a step backwards or to the side when we want to go forward, but that is the beauty of learning.  The club provides the protected and safe place for members to speak out and not be afraid.  

We praise each other in our comments. This is not because our work is perfect, but because we are making an effort to be better.  We will give small bits of criticism along with praise and it is given with love for each other.  We are all a big family of brothers and sisters who share a love for learning and for helping others, as well as ourselves.

I like to invite both students and teachers here.  Why do I do this?  

I do this because we can all learn from each other and web based learning works best for some students.  Others may do better with a book or a blackboard, but I am certain that some students will be helped better here, than in the classroom.  

Those who are shown this club and respond well, can stay and benefit from the experience.  I hope to see local clubs in many cities where plans made here can be carried out. schools can easily begin a club and use the club here to expand their activities.  This club is a tool we have not yet learned to use to it's best potential.

Thank you all for your comments :)  I am glad this is helpful.

Comment by M karim on March 18, 2011 at 22:19
Yes my friend , thank u very much .I really face this problem.I can write in a good way but I can't speak well.Thanks for your writing .I benefit from it.
Comment by M karim on March 18, 2011 at 22:16
yes, my friend thank you very much.I really face this problem.I can write in a good way but when I can't speak well.thanks for your writing .I benefit from it
Comment by ABRIL on March 17, 2011 at 21:57
Well I'm not shy but my real problem is that in my native lenguage (Spanish) I'm very demandind, and I take this to English, so I don't allow at all my mistakes I appreciate criticism but I'am my worse enemy. Thanks for your advice.
Comment by Abdullah on March 17, 2011 at 11:26

Hi, Mr. Bob.

I am one of english language teacher in Taif and I met you in Al-Shafee schools.

I hope to be friends and I became one of memmber in this web when you told us about it .

I read your last article and I was happy cause I remembered when I was student in my university.

Thank you Mr. Bob .

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