20131126-140916.jpgThis, I’m afraid, will be another rather serious advice column. Once again, I apologize to my entertainment-seeking followers, but I do believe that those truly in need of advice are priority here. This time around, the topic of discussion is failure. I don’t mean failing a test, losing a game, not making a team, etc. The type of failure that I want to talk about is the kind that matters, the kind that hurts, the kind that leaves you numb, the kind that lasts indefinitely, the kind that may not even be your fault: the kind that you will never let go.
Some examples? Let’s say you’re standing next to your frail, old, great-grandfather, and he falls flat on the ground, hurting his head. Let’s also say that he dies within the year. You don’t know that the fall had ANYTHING to do with his death, but you can’t help thinking what would be different if you had only been holding his hand when you were told. Another example: let’s say that, for whatever reason, you and your siblings are responsible for paving the way for your family in the future, meaning your parents, grandparents, and posterity, and you are the youngest. Both your older siblings excel at everything and have a clear direction in life: they’re charismatic, spiritually sound, and successful, whereas you are not any of those things, and what select few skills you have don’t give you any direction at all in what you will do with your life. In that case, couldn’t it be argued that you’re a disappointment: the only directionless boy in a family of geniuses? Last example: looking around you, all your friends, if not happy, are content because they have something that they desire. This thing can be success, spirituality, a relationship, intelligence, fun, anything. You, on the other hand, know exactly what it is you want, but it seems as if life denies you that very thing. Taking it up a notch, let’s say that you decide to seek whatever this thing is for yourself, and the first attempt that you make at it you get thrown back to square one. There’s no explanation, in fact there’s even encouragement, but regardless you haven’t managed to get anywhere. If everyone but you is just fine with how they are, wouldn’t you be a bit jealous? Isn’t that in itself an immeasurable failure?
If you can relate with any of this, and I mean TRULY connect through your own experiences, than I have something to tell you. Sadly, what I have to tell you for this category is not very pleasant in any way. You have to wait: that’s the only thing you can do, and that’s the only thing you’re capable of doing. I’m not telling you that your life is a helpless cause; I’m just saying that you have to be patient. There’s always the hope that things will get better for you, and that you just have more to learn about life before you’re ready. Take it as a sign of greatness, for great people are forged in fire. Your friends are your fire-starters: not of the fire, but great in of themselves to care for what burns in the flames.
However, there is also the possibility that your purpose in life is to bear the flames. I guess you could be glad: you’ll learn the most in life. With a life like this, though, there are consequences, as we all know.
This wasn’t so much an advice column as a “telling it like it is” column. Feel free to disagree with me. In fact, I think I’d be much happier if you did. I’m sorry for not expanding much on how to deal with failures like this, but there’s really not much to expand on. Whatever you choose to do, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong, is a direct projection of yourself: something that no one can really change. It’s like a fire: if you have wood, you can choose whether or not to let the fire go out, but you have that choice. If you don’t have wood, then the fire will go out regardless of what you do, and sadly you can’t do anything but your best in the time given to you. Almost all people in existence fit the first of the two situations. My humble suggestion: don’t let the fire go out.

One thought on “Failure

  • December 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Failure is never an option!

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