I love this photo of a US Gymnast receiving her Silver medal. Big surprise – she was favored for the gold!

The picture leaves you torn doesn’t it. Part feels compassion for someone whose life dream, so close to realization, fell away at the last moment. And another I imagine wonders “How about a little perspective? Second in the WORLD is not bad news.”

Failure is part of life.  We need structures around us to protect us from certain failures.  What we don’t need however is a padded room that keeps from failure.  Some words to think about …

In order to construct our life’s container we all need some help from “the perennial tradition” that has held up over time. We cannot each start at zero, entirely on our own. Life is far too short, and there are plenty of mistakes we do not need to make—and some that we need to make. We are parts of social and family ecosystems that are rightly structured to keep us from falling, but also, more importantly, to show us how to fall and also how to learn from that very falling.  

We are not helping our children by always preventing them from what might be necessary falling, because we learn how to recover from falling by falling! It is precisely by falling off the bike many times that you eventually learn what the balance feels like. Those who have never allowed themselves to fall are actually off balance, while not realizing it at all. That is why they are so hard to live with. Please think about that for a while.


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