"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
~ Woody Hayes (Ohio State University Football Coach
and WWII Veteran)
THE ART OF FAILURE!
Have you noticed that there are fewer “losers” in schools these days? That there are more "awards" for achievement than actual accomplishments? There seems to be a trend developing whereby we are afraid to let our children fail.
Are you successful simply because you do not fail? What of the lessons of disappointment that go unlearned? The highest achievers lack recognition, while those who place second, third or fourth still get gold medals!
It’s no joke – a recent article about a rural youth horse show reported that all of the riders in the class who “placed” took home a BLUE ribbon. This is disastrous. What meaning does winning have when everyone is a winner?
We’re robbing our children of the developmental opportunity to fail and then lose their fear of failing. They must lose the championship and learn that the sun will rise tomorrow, and that another season will come with its prospects for victory.
Scientist and inventor Charles Kettering once wrote, “We need to teach… that it is not a disgrace to fail and that [we] must analyze every failure to find its cause. [We] must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts of the world.”
By all means, do encourage young people to try their very hardest and to enjoy victory when it is theirs. But do not try to protect them from the disappointment of failure when it falls to them. It is an absolutely critical building block in developing their ability to have faith in themselves.
We love to see their smiles when they win an award, and we hate to see their despondence when they do not. Now let them experience those same contrary feelings, and continue their growth into the balanced and well-adjusted folks we strive to be!