Friday, October 3, 2008

Right to Fail?

“One of the few rights that America does not proclaim is the right to fail”

This is one of the other statements that stood out to me in the essay. As we discussed this idea in class, most of the students agreed that this statement is true. Today, most children play on little league sports teams where the score is not kept and there is not a proclaimed winner (even though the older kids know how to keep score and they do know who won). Matt's little brother Taylor plays on a 8-9-year-old kid pitch team, and they still did not keep score, but I am certain that the kids on each team knew who won and who did not. While I agree with this concept for young children (ages 4-5) because the goal is to teach the children the fundamentals of the sport, I do not agree with this trend for ages 6 and up. One way to learn good sportsmanship is to lose every once in a while. Unless my memory fails me, when I played softball as a 7-year-old, we had an official score at the end of the game and we knew if we had won or lost. I do not remember being traumatized by the fact that we did not win the game. As a student pointed out, once the game is over, the kids are more interested in the snacks being offered than the outcome of the game.

I can understand why we are so afraid of failure, but this fear of failure leads us not to take chances. I, personally, am not a big fan of failing, but I also realize that sometimes I need to fail in order to learn. That is the key element that is missing in our society. We spend too much time trying to blame someone or some group when a situation goes bad (Katrina is a good example) instead of focusing on what can be learned from the failure. The government took a chance letting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer mortgages to people who are a credit risk and we are seeing the negative results of that decision. I hope that instead of wasting time figuring out who is truly to blame, I would like to see more energy put into coming up with ways to correct the situation and to keep it from happening again.

Even as Christians we are afraid to fail. We develop unrealistic expectations of what God expects us to do. We compare our selves to other Christians and decide that there is no way we will measure up, so we don't even try. Instead of asking and trusting that God will work through us in the way He has planned, we decide on our own what God wants us to do. Often our interpretation of God's plan is way off of His. Sometimes we overachieve, but many time we underachieve because we are afraid that we will fail. I know that I need to be less fearful of failure because I can never fail in God's eyes. I will always be His child and nothing I do can change that.

1 comment:

lovemylife said...

You're right. I think it's interesting, too, that as a society, we've decided it's not okay to fail, but it's totally ok to not try, totally okay to hold ourselves to a lower standard. And it's hard, too, because I can see that this is happening, but I do also see evidence of it in my own life, and that's frustrating.
How good it is to know that nothing can take us from His loving hand.