3.22.2009

How to fail good.

"The goal of life becomes individual glory and greatness. The failure to achieve these aspirations, to be who we should be, seems to diminish us. As we age, as life deals its blows of fortune and bad luck, as we face the harsh reality of human limitations, our own limitations, we become resentful. We hate ourselves for failing."

~ Chris Hedges, Losing Moses on the Freeway


I relate to this perhaps a bit too much, LOL. Living in America, perhaps we're fed the lie too much, that anything is possible, when it's not. I wanted to be published fourteen years ago. I never dreamed I'd be this age and still unaccomplished. But it seems the lie exists apart from any type of reality, especially individual realities with so many bumps in the road that keep us from realizing this gilded dream. And feeling like a failure sucks.

He goes on:

"All lives, at their deepest level, are failures. We fail to be the person we want to be; this is inevitable for we are human. We will fail to achieve all we want to achieve. We fail those who love us in small and large ways. We are failed by them. We suffer betrayal and feel unappreciated. We are never as good as our expectations. We never overcome all our faults. We act in ways that are foolish, inconsistent, mean or thoughtless. This is part of our ordinariness, part of the failures inherent in human life.

"But only if we can accept this failure and our ordinariness, only if we can have the courage to face this wounding pain, can we find sustaining joy and happiness."

2 comments:

Don said...

Hi, Mr. Positive here. When you're ready for a contrary but optimistic view: try Psycho-Cybernetics. Maltz sees people and the human condition in a different light.

My daughter used to read me quotes from Oscar Wilde. He's almost as "encouraging" as what you're feeding your soul on which is seven parts depressing to one part slightly optimistic.

Worldview matters! Choose your carefully.

Mr. Positive is now off his soap-box.

Don ;-)

PS: Aren't you the one who said in Ode: Life is just a little more colorful when you are with me.

Life is colorful, not drab! ;-)

Liz said...

Tis true that in today's world it is not as easy done
as said to become anything or do anything one wants. Used to be easier but not now. I cry for the children in communities that are held hostage to drugs & violence.

Nonetheless, as you brilliantly pointed out some time ago - Life is the art of ever "becoming". When we stop "becoming" perhaps then life is a failure. However, in my view, life's mishaps along the way and the ever changing course of attaining one's dreams should not be considered a failure.

As I am older now and was once so ambitious to think I could save the world; I am a little sad I have not done more in that vain. But I don't think my life is a failure. I just think I am not as accomplished as I had hoped.

Yet I know that what appears to be trivial, such as a smile, a kind word, or even a beautifully written blog, might indeed have made someone's life better even if for a moment. Really isn't that a great success?