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Tabor Williams

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Failure should be respected for those trying to accomplish something

Failure tends to lead to some of the greatest discoveries and advancements. Failure now tends to be fail blogs, epic fail, etc. And yet some of the best advancements came from repeated failure. Thomas Edison tried for years before finally perfecting the lightbulb.

When did failure become this huge shameful thing that we want to hide? Even great people like Abraham Lincoln couldn't run a supply store, and yet he became the President of the United States. People don't like to fail because everyone wants to succeed on their first try, but that is seldom the case. Failing teaches us resiliency, and gives us strength.

Topics: philosophy

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  • Oct 20 2012: Interesting stuff... Barry Palmer below stated the obvious. "There are failures, and there are failures."

    Big difference in learning from our smaller mistakes and those mistakes causing a major tragedy... Or is there?

    Others rushed into the obvious hole in his quote about the "job security" in causing a global recession from securitized mortgages to say that the "Overall failure" can't be blamed on one person or one group. Responsibility is another notion aside from finding the cause of the overall failure.

    "Overall failure". Well an outcome is not just a single event.... such as a bridge collapsing or the financial debacle in October 2008. As with everything in the universe, its way more complex than that in the whole, but the reality is also the eagle eye view, that any outcome is preceded by a series of smaller actions and events. From a human scale, large tragedies... well for most of us... we can't grasp the totality of all these actions, events, nor the individuals and groups behind them. 100's, 1000's, millions, billions, & trillions. We just cant get a handle on it... any more than we can the notion of an expanding universe with trillions of thermonuclear suns... so mankind invents God so we can deal with infinite boundless space and energy... and not go bonkers over it.

    There are always lines and sequences of actions and events leading up to the big event however. Follow the lines backward in a Big Failure and you may find that...

    For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost. And onwards to losing the Kingdom

    Global recession, who is to blame?. Follow it backwards and it you find interesting governmental actions were absolutely vital to allow securitization of mortgages and relaxed requirements. The 1935 Glass Steagall Act had it right... forbid the mixing of investment banking with commercial banking. The "Cult of DeRegulation" killed it... death by a thousand cuts. Failure by Greed.
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      Oct 20 2012: It's true that usually major failures or mistakes don't happen by themselves. instead they are either unperceived, or unheeded. I'm not saying that failure should be celebrated, rather it should be learned from so that we don't continue making the same mistakes that may lead to even bigger mistakes. It's about recognizing when something isn't working, and fixing it.

      Love the for want of a nail proverb!
      • Oct 20 2012: Tabor: "...instead they are either unperceived, or unheeded. "

        That's the nail on the head metaphor right there. Beginning with Bill Clinton in 1994, there were many, many small efforts to unseat Glass-Steagall and other good regulations that went unperceived and certainly unnoticed by the larger population. All of these small cuts led up to creating the securitization or mortgages that become the debacle we still are living.

        Was is a cult or a conspiracy behind those thousands of cuts... perhaps guided by some Star Chamber?

        The Occupy Movement doesn't quite articulate it this way, but when they rail on about "corporate greed" and "special interests" running America through buying politicians to change legislation favorable to the special interest goals... who would argue that's not far off. The reason they are special... is that these interests seek out from politicians is not usually favorable to the public good. There can't be two masters. The paymasters get the attention. Simple as that.

        Wall Street got what it wanted. Health insurance companies get what they want. Credit Card companies get what they want. And on and on... until someone forces campaign reforms onto Washington DC... nothing will change.

        There is the small mistake we should learn from. Greed fuels politicians because they cannot continue their jobs without massive campaign funds. Why do we allow this if we are learning from our mistakes? No one is seeing this clearly as the hinge point in the series of mistakes leading up to the big events.
        Sorry... just couldn't resist going with "nail on the head" :)
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          Oct 20 2012: Politics is always a hard issue for everyone. I do think there are successes and failures but overall I'm thinking about failure for the average person and what it means individually and for the individual in their environment as opposed to as a collective.

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