This post here is dedicated to all the wonderful teachers we have in our lives. I’m sure everyone here can think of someone that you something that you could take away for the rest of your life. Teachers are not exclusive to the ones that we find in the classrooms and they are no doubt great ones. But here, I’m talking about a different teacher. One that has been with me, watching over me since the day I was born. This teacher is absolutely ruthless. She will beat you down hard and frankly just doesn’t care if you can get back up. She would not hesitate to toss you into raging river before you even know how to swim if she felt like it. Nothing you do seems to be good enough for this teacher’s test. Constantly, I am tested all the time and left wondering why should I even try. But despite all the difficulties and the hardships, at the end of the day, I want to tell her thank you for everything. It’s a teacher that we all know too well. Her name is failure. It’s a little cliche, but you know what they say; Failure is your greatest teacher. It really is.
Only by knowing and experiencing failure can we really learn to grow and develop to become something great. Too often we fear mistakes or the making of mistakes. But why? Failure is a fundamental aspect of our livelihood. It should be something that is embraced, not feared. Failure is an inevitability. Each and everyone of us have or will experience failure sometime in our existence and that’s okay because she has a lesson to give. See her as an opportunity to do and be better. The wonderful thing about mistakes is that you learn. You learn what success isn’t and that is a wonderful gift in and of itself. Failure is practically as low as it gets from success. But it is at these darkest moments where we can see ourselves truly shine because after all, the only place to go from the bottom is up.
Education definitely had it right when it said that failure is just part of the learning process. Mistakes are inevitable and that’s simply how one learns. After all, that’s how science progress and make new discoveries. Good science is done through countless trial and error. The major discoveries in science didn’t just happen overnight. It took countless tries after getting it wrong so many times. Light and relativity are fine examples. The journey to discover the exact nature and speed of light took countless tries as great minds before the likes of those like Einstein got it right, but it was only because of those past failures of measuring the speed wrong that we were finally able to succeed. So what can we take away from all of this? There is no shame in failure. Progress depends entirely on it so why should we see it as some kind of anomaly.
Unfortunately, this philiosophy does not seem to reflect how our society behaves. Failure can have serious consequences. One mistake could mean the termination of your job and no room for second chances. The first impression can be the last impression. Even education has lost its way. Grades and test scores carry so much weight that it leaves no room for failure. The slight mathematical difference between an A and a B could be the difference between acceptance into the college you want or rejection.
No doubt that these actions present quite the conundrum. People need to be allowed to fail in order to grow and yet we shun those that do. How many of us have messed up somewhere in our life and wished that we were given a second chance but have denied someone else that very same chance? It is a problem that won’t be rectified until we change the way we see failure.
So here is to failure, the greatest teacher that ever lived. Without her, we couldn’t learn and be better people. Do not be afraid of her, embrace her because making mistakes is part of life and what it means to grow up. So fall down, hard, painfully, and miserably. But do not stay down, learn why you fell and get back up. As Alfred Pennyworth from batman once said “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up”.