I’m starting to reevaluate my position on absolutes. A while ago, I stated that there were no absolutes, but there are more than I thought.
Recently, I’ve done a great deal of writing about things that are inevitable. And it seems that one absolute in life, one inevitable reality, is failure. But just like we try to cheat death and fool time, we try to avoid failure. We avoid failure because we do not want to disappoint others, and we do not want to disappoint ourselves. I’m not sure where it originates from, but I see it in my students today, as well. They are so afraid to take a step in the wrong direction when it comes to their learning. I can’t help but think that my students, as well as the current twenty-somethings in my generation, are so afraid to fail because of adults that have protected them so greatly, and with such good intention, from failure.
I am immensely appreciative of my failures that have preceded my present state. While I was not necessarily crazy about them at the time, it is these failures that have taught me the greatest lessons and paved the way to moments of remarkableness. It is these times that I learned how to work through disappointment, and it is through others’ failures that I have learned the true content of their character.
We cannot be afraid to fail, just like we cannot constantly be afraid of impending death or time slipping away from us. Failure is an inevitable absolute, and I believe that that our failures provide the necessary foreground–the contrast–for our successes. Maybe, just maybe, every failure is actually a success, just dressed in a different outfit or viewed through a different lens. And maybe, if we looked at it that way more often, we might be more apt to take risks and welcome failure.