Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Lessons of Failure

I read an article this morning that speaks to some stuff that has been very much on my mind lately.

"We Betray Our Children 
by Making Them Afraid to Fail"

Now, I don't have kids 
so there have been those who suggest that 
I do not have a right to an opinion.
However, I am an observant human being, 
a part of this world, 
and I see the potentional for 
very scary stuff coming in the future for all of us
in light of the current tidal waves of 
and fascism.  
It is a matter of grave concern.

We don't do kids any favors by making everything 
fair and safe and sweet.  

Life isn't fair.  
Safety is something we can't take for granted.  
Sweetness is the result of our own actions.

I am reminded of short story that I read years ago about a widow who is able to make one magical wish for her only son, so she wishes that he will be loved by everyone.  Because he is loved, cossetted, and forgiven  by anyone who encounters him, he becomes a heartless and conscienceless monster who uses people.  Finally his mother realizes that her wish should have been that her son would become a person who loves others.

It is a cautionary tale that we would do well to heed.

We are all in danger when we give our hearts only to the self and see nothing beyond.

I hope that we are not making it imposible, by excessive nannying, for the coming generation to take responsibility for their own learning.  
I hope that we are not setting them up for ruin
because it will be destruction for society as a whole
when we teach them to love themselves too much 
and to value other people too little,
when we teach them that everything should 
be made too easily "fair" and easy,
when we erase bitterness so that all will be sweet.

We owe it to the future 
to allow them the experience of failure and rejection
so that they can learn 
to become strong.
We learn by falling and getting back up again.
I am still learning.

Sometimes true kindess has teeth.

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