Failure: Doomsday or a stepping stone

 The human race has been conditioned to fear failure.

 

When I was in the fifth standard, I didn’t clear that term’s first unit test and in order to pass the year I had to get exact passing marks to move forward.

 

I remember standing at the windowsill of my house with my mom as she took a day’s breather to just observe the market and traffic below our house before dinner time.

 

As I slithered closer towards her, with my heart beating so fast that the honks below seemed to fade out, I told her that I had failed a unit test. She pursed her lips and rolled her eyes. The worry on her face was something I will never forget. I had managed to spoil her one moment of peace that she was having during the entire day. I told her I would study hard and try to pass the next one.

 

While preparing for the second one her worrisome face pushed me ahead and I did manage to pass. I have always been an average student and have never failed since then. But today as a mother to a child that is struggling with the fast pace education designed by some politician sitting comfortably in his air conditioned office, I wonder if I want to give my son the same fear. Or do I embrace the struggle that he is going through and instead provide him with tools and techniques that will help him cope.

 

I think of all those who have had failures. If you just google “personalities who have failed” you will get a list of inventors, scientist, artist and politicians who didn’t give up.

 

Bill Gates for example, if he had given up after his first failure would I be able to post this today? I think it’s high time we celebrate failures as much as we celebrate success.

 

Because knowledge of what not to do helps us to create something flawless. By chipping away on the slab of stone while making a sculpture, the artist moves closer and closer to perfection.

 


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