Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Blessed in Failure – For the Courage to Try

“More is gained by the mistakes of those who honestly try to think for themselves than by the correct opinions of those who hold them simply because they have not heard the other side.”
~Helen Keller
Relatively few people in this life consistently risk for trying, because of the humiliating price of failure.
Most people figure there’s nothing to be gained through humble humiliation. It is hence studiously avoided. People would rather be situated in the safety of the correctness of their opinions. They would rather appear knowledgeable, and yet, the reality is, they will not learn much and there won’t be much joy added to them.
Failure marks us for embarrassment in the instant of the mistake. But the depths experienced for learning are colossal. Embarrassment verging on humiliation is transformative.
Yet, the shelter in proffering a safe opinion is merely transactional—nothing ventured, nothing gained; no risk, no return.
Learning To Delight In Our Mistakes
The very fact that we are bound to learn more in our errors, and by the calculated risks we take, than we are in sprouting our puffed up knowledge should be all the more significant if we are interested in growth.
In theory every Christian is. But in practice the vast majority don’t care for the furnace of spiritual refinement. They would prefer to look good.
Where are we?
Are we the kind of persons that find a purpose in the worst of news? Do we see a silver lining encircling the thunder cloud? Are we able to conjure thought for blessing in the midst of cursing? Can we envisage the learning designed into the mistake?
We can nurture such never-say-die curious humility.
The purity in the person genuinely trying is admirable. They put themselves out there; where there’s no immediate self-gain. This person has learned to delight, at least partially, in their mistakes. They have turned their embarrassment into a realistic optimism for what might be gained, eventually.
The Faith To Risk
Of course, it involves faith to risk what we don’t need to risk, as risking is seen as an investment.
Those who risk in faith not only learn more, they inspire others to risk, also. It’s as if they have blazed a trial that others might emulate. They have shown by example that the faith to risk never destroys them. They are seen as courageous, and, more appropriately, fundamentally committed to truth. They earn respect and credibility.
The faith to risk, which involves great courage to lead, is the necessary trait of the would-be leader.
To risk for faith is honourable and worthy of respect, when the safety of a safe opinion might have been prioritised. When we go out on a limb for the truth we inspire people. They want to emulate our courage.
Failure can be an open door to a better style of success: learning, growth and inspiration can be ours, simply for an invitingly curious attitude in the midst of mistakes.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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