I just don’t get this linkage, or this attitude which esteems success as the thing to be copied. Inspired by reading about abraham, jacob, moses, I have been thinking a lot about failure. Recently I was at on a course. The first session leader told us about failure being useful and being key to learning, how failure is valuable and worthwhile to seeing how things can be done better. In short how to change and learn. Yet to fail or to be perceived as a failure is very negative.
In fact failure is to be avoided and thrown away as worthless. In the second session of the course I was on, (a different leader,) every example used, esteemed and praised was one of external success. I wonder if you get more press coverage if you are a celebrity who has a high profile success of if you have a high profile failure. I think you get more for failure, but that just reinforces the position of failure being bad.
I just don’t know where this leaves us.
I struggle with feeling that those failures are negative.
sometimes they are, sometimes, though.
I think my life is/can/will be positive. I think I have changed and learned and grown through those failures. I also choose to think any success I am perceived to have is down to those failures. (Unlike mr Jordan in the advert above not sure I have had the same level of career he has had!)
I think the concept of confession has a lot going for it in terms of disabling this failure is bad position. where grace, love and forgiveness are present and available for all. Where failures like myself can be rested and cared for.
Within the act of confession is rest renewing, a casting off of that you are carrying. The verbalisation of a failure has a big effect on the spirit. Perhaps thats why so many public speakers start off with a story which could be perceived as a confession. (A joke which self denigrates.)
Wonder what an ethic of failure would look like.
I wonder what a theology of failure could work up as…