LESSONS FOR THE FALL
I was listening to Wayne Allen Root discuss failure. I agree with his theory that people need to be able to fail in order to be able to succeed. As we watch three one powerful corporations come calling, hat in hand, begging for billions, Democrats are rushing around to prop them up, crying that failure should not be allowed.
Indeed, that is the very problem with liberals and with Democrats. They cannot allow failure. The very failure to allow failure is a commentary on the mind-set of these individuals. The very act of refusing to recognize or allow failure is an abject failure of their character to reach out to the virtue of growth and change.
We all learn from our failures. Our greatest successes will have been brought about by failure. Our nation’s greatest success stories are about those individuals with the fortitude to rise above their failure.
George Washington was considered an abject failure until a little disturbance and fight for independence opened new avenues of endeavor for him. He knew what he could do, given the chance. He knew who he was and what he was. He was his own worst critic. Once he was given an opportunity for his leadership skills, he rose to the challenge.
The same thing holds true for Harry Truman. He was a joke, having gone bankrupt and suffered business failure after failure. When he was VP for FDR he was treated as a joke, ignored, the invisible man. He is now considered one of our great Presidents.
Thomas Edison was an academic failure. He was considered ‘un teachable”.
A more modern version of the story is about a two-bit (but talented) actor who could not get a job. He was a quitter, having dumped his college career just weeks before he was due to graduate. Unable to get work, and unable to make any money to care for his growing family he bought a “how to” book on carpentry and went to work. Within months he became known as the “carpenter to the stars.” Years after giving up on his acting career he was given the opportunity to star in an experimental science fiction movie everyone knew was going to fail. The role of a lifetime – Han Solo!
Today our society does not allow failure. Children must have their self-esteem pampered at all times. They are not allowed to fail. People must be cushioned from their failures. Those failures might have adverse psychological implications for their long-term well-being and esteem. Their children, trapped in a poor to mediocre educational system, must be made to feel good at all times. This way their educators need not worry about qualifications or actually teaching something to help their students later in life. Self-esteem is a way to protect educators who are abject failures themselves. It is a way to protect a failed system.
Consequently, kids are not allowed to know the horrors of slouching home with an “F” in math (been there and done that – many times). They are also not allowed to know the abject feeling of triumph when they bounce home the following semester, the “F” now a “D+” (been there and done that). They aren’t allowed to learn that failure breeds success.
Failure should not only be an option, but should be considered a “mandatory” subject in the school of hard knocks. I should know, I have a Ph. D. in it. We learn from our failures if we are honest enough to admit to failure and honest enough to allow retrospection.
When we are not allowed to make mistakes we become a society catering to the weak and the mediocre. We become a society of the incompetent. We become a society where individuals are not able to make educated decisions and are motivated by the power of the crowd. We become a nation that must “feel good” – all the time. We become a nation of egotistical prima donnas who are unable to do anything but meander, bovine like, their mouths open, slobbering, as they catch flies.
It is strange how failure is not an option but corruption is. Does the prevention of failure lead to the idea that a person must win at any cost?
Must our way in life be so padded that the virtue of failure now gives way to the deadly destruction of lies, cheating, theft, and corruption?
When a society decides that to allow failure is wrong, but dishonorable success is a virtue we have a very serious problem.
Dishonorable success is destructive to everyone in that society. It is abject corruption.
Once upon a time death was preferable to dishonorable behavior. Many a Roman senator met his end by suicide rather than give in to dishonorable behavior. Politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, or even Barack Obama would be given the option of choosing an aristocratic and “honorable” end rather than endure the humiliation of having their mis-deeds uncovered. Once Rome began accepting those mis-deeds the degradation of Roman society had begun.
Where once honor was a virtue, now success at any cost ruled. Failure was no longer an option. If a person failed, it usually ended in the termination of their very existence. With the new way of living, with success at all costs and failure no longer allowed, the ends justified the means. Noting was sacred and nothing was off-limits.
This behavior ultimately lead the Roman Empire to collapse into itself. There was only one exception. As officials became more and more corrupt, a small, strange cult became more and more powerful. Instead of offering riches and power, it offered a salve for success. Failure was an option because by failure, man grew. That small cult exploded as it brought comfort and a form of protection to an increasingly dangerous and deadly world.
Winning at any cost doomed Rome to abject defeat. Winning at any cost gave way to turn the other cheek and love they neighbor. It gave way to the Ten Commandments and the command to love thy neighbor as one would love one’s self.
Failure is the only way we, as humans can grow. If we have not known failure we do not know how to succeed. The very fact that Democrats and liberals cannot allow failure exposes their abject weakness and their abject corruption.