Failure or Ally?

September 15 at 12:09 PM

I’m convinced that FAILURE is a vital component in the development of character. And as a society with good and moral intentions, I believe we have made the best effort to eliminate it, and thereby have enthroned it.

We have villainized one of our most loyal allies. Failure is THE character builder. And without it, character of a society will soften and ultimately die.

We have removed the natural occurrence of consequence for our actions or lack thereof and thereby eradicated discipline on the individual level.

In Genesis 2:17 Even God Himself in all his MERCY provided limits and allowed His children to suffer the penalty for missing the mark of a clear defined standard.

“But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

He didn’t say “I will kill you.” He reminded Adam and Eve of the consequence of missing that standard.

Some will argue that God did bail us out there.

And they’re partially right…but not without a GREAT COST. Jesus, the greatest person to ever live had to give up the breath in his lungs to pay off that debt. God’s only son took it in the chest for us. Someone did pay for those actions. There is always a consequence.

We’re becoming a society of…

• Instant satisfaction

• Sensitivity

• Participation ribbons

• Political correctness

• Inclusion

• Entitlement

• Laziness

• Apathy

I had a meeting with my bosses this week. I was informed that I was failing to perform my job to the standard I should. They weren’t mistreating me. They were absolutely justified…. And it sucked. But it forced me to make a decision. If I continue to perform at a subpar leveI, I could lose my job. If I value my job, I get off my lazy butt and do what needs to be done. My boss didn’t lower the standard because I wasn’t meeting it. I had to raise my performance to meet the standard.

By lowering standards we relieve people of their obligation and opportunity to grow and develop.

If you know anything about me, you know I’m a weirdo about the game of basketball. I love the game. I would play every day if my left knee would let me…But when I was a sophomore in high school, my basketball career ended abruptly. My current boss and good friend cut me from the JV basketball team.

I was crushed. I went home and cried like a girl to my mother in an attempt to motivate my mother to complain and force the coaches to let me back on the team.

When told of the news, my mother didn’t respond the way I had hoped. She told me “You deserve to be cut, because you don’t practice.”

Being told I couldn’t do something was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It came with much pain. But adversity teaches us to persevere and overcome. I started practicing all the time. I spent my Saturdays and Sunday evenings driving to parks around Houston to find pickup games. I developed a work ethic. I don’t know who I would be today without being told I couldn't do something.

When treating a disease we don’t ask the disease to become more treatable, we develop stronger treatments to overcome the disease.

When fighting a war, we don’t ask the enemy to play fair.

As sports fans, we’re mad at the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, because they’re dominating everyone they play. We declare “It isn’t fair!” Only weak people say that. You don’t hear pro athletes saying that. I’m convinced Lebron James Lies awake at night contemplating how he can raise his game to beat them.

What if they gave us what we’re asking for? What if they traded their best player to give someone else a chance? What if they felt bad for the rest of the league? Would they league prosper or suffer?

Would other players work harder to catch up or take a day off?

We don’t become great by lowering our standards in athletics…Why do we think it will work for a society?

True Love is providing a clear standard and NOT delivering those who fail to meet it.

There’s a fine line between empowering and handicapping.

There can be no victory without defeat…If we all win…Then we all lose.

Case Mitchell

Teacher & Basketball Coach at Splendora High School