2014: Making Failures
- Every genius has a trail of failures littering the trail to success.
- Failures are pointers (teachers) as you build the infrastructure of dreams.
- Failure keeps us humble (if being human didn’t do that trick).
- Failures are testaments to attempts, to inertia overcome.
- Failure makes us stronger for what lies ahead.
- Failure to accept and celebrate failures leads to arrogance.
Lately, after reading pieces by Marcelo Gleiser and Costica Bradanton, I’ve found two points pricking my subconscious -- a sure sign that paying attention would help.
First, the business of humility. It might be obvious that failure builds a certain amount of humility into our characters. But how is that good unless humility is a core value? I might believe it is true, but how could it possibly help someone for whom that premise isn’t a given? I’ve come to this: Humility is a bridge attribute to her cousin, Empathy, who in turn, is one pathway to Kindness. In our quest as humans, to live in company with each other, Kindness is essential, non-negotiable, and never a wrong response. In my understanding, part of building a society and culture of growth depends on practicing Kindness. Humility, brought to us by our failures, allows us to learn tolerance and acceptance of our own shortcomings and those of others. Empathy. A bridge to Kindness built by Humility.
Finally, for as long as I can remember throwing seeds has been a source of Big Joy. Last year, learning that I could rename my bin of "rubbish" writing the “compost heap” was a large step forward in conceptualizing failures as useful. Compost is something I understand on several levels.
Seeing failures as making a heap from which new bits might spring has made throwing things there less onerous. So failures as seeds, as containing a germ of newness, surprise and perhaps greatness, is very appealing to seed lovers and throwers. I’ve known for a long while that failures are not as bad as I was led to believe, that they represent steps on the way to success. But seeing them as seeds, as entities of vitality and promise gives them a shine and sparkle of potential which encourages me to create a lot more of them. And that is a good way for me to start leaning into spring. I’ll need a big heap of failures...er...compost from which to jump.
If it is high enough, perhaps I’ll fly.