Saturday, September 06, 2003


"Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett

I've been thinking about failure today. The thoughts started bubbling up as a result of the recent discussions about changing jobs, moving, charting a new direction in life.

It's frightening.

Not failing.

What's terrifying is the fear of failing.

"You won't skid if you stay in a rut." - Kin Hubbard

I only failed two classes when I was in school. I failed geometry in high school because I was a stoned teenager who didn't pay attention and by the time I started paying attention I didn't have a clue. Geometry is really a study in logic, and if you miss out on the first few steps, it never seems very logical.

I retook the class and made an "A".

I failed an urban studies course in college because I had a next door neighbor who worked as a secretary in that department of the University and she thought she would do me a favor by giving me a copy of the first test in advance. I chose to cheat and made an "A". I felt so guilty that I never went back to the class. I also never made up that course. I wanted an "F" on my permanent record as a permanent reminder.

"There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought." - Laurence J. Peter

In retrospect I'm thankful for both of those events. The geometry experience helped me learn that if you want to win in the end, you have to start at the beginning. The cheating experience reminded me that I've had to work for everything in life that I truly value.

I've had plenty of other failures.

I'll have more.

I can only pray I won't learn from them too.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:26