Failure saves us from our worst selves. Imagine and shudder if we were to enjoy nothing but success. We could have become arrogant, reckless, insufferable.
But failure is a gift. A painful gift but necessary nonetheless if we are to grow our innate nobility.
Consider the fine line between being fun and being frivolous. When I say “fun”, I mean being cheery even though there are reasons to be morose, playful without being childish, and considerate of others. But when the “fun” is carried to the extreme, one can become superficial, irresponsible, with nary a care for others.
Failure saves such a fun person from being frivolous. How? The pain of falling on our faces gives us a measure of wisdom and sensitivity. It weans us from shallow pursuits and spurs us to pursue what is truly important in life. What I consider as most important, it expands our heart to feel someone else’s pain.
Failure involves loss: the loss of innocence, the loss of a dream, the loss of an idealized self. And loss invites grief.
By all means, we give ourselves permission to grieve, but let us do so while treading the path of gratitude. As we release the regrets of yesterday, we can rejoice over the opportunities of today.
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