Saturday, December 7, 2013

Failure is Feedback

A quote by Nelson Mandela, frequently broadcast on the days following his passing: "Judge me not for my successes but by how many times I fell down and got up again."

Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur and many others would agree with this sentiment - as well as every wee child who wants to learn how to walk.

In the age of instant gratification, this law of evolution bedevils the young and the restless weaned on MTV and video games. Hardly auspicious for the long arc of career development and penetrating expertise.

But it is not just our youngun's who exhibit such traits. A few years ago, the Dalai Lama rebuked his American audience. The gist of his remarks centered around his students'
desire for instant enlightenment and blissful freedom from neurosis. That it might take years of disciplined practice to master the mind, to develop true compassion and wisdom, was frustrating to people weaned on fast food and fiber optic networks. Apparently, His Holiness had gotten an earful of western whiners and saw fit to set us straight.

So the watchwords for today are patience and perseverance. Even if our dreams don't come true, we will have been happier living out our time on earth with these virtues!


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