One of the things I always start the classes I teach out with is, the most straightforward answer is usually the best. Spartan is a good thing. It allows us to move quickly within a solution. The more complex a system is, the more likely there is a point of failure. I have been having a wonderful conversation about Murphy’s law. For those of you that have never heard Murph’s Law, it is merely “Anything that can go wrong will.” If we break the law into component pieces, it speaks to the concept of failure. Failure always seems to be a bad thing. The ending of the movie Titanic would be much different except for the inability of the bulkhead system of the great ship and the resulting sinking problem.
Failure, however, is something we should examine. It is ok to fail. If you fail, it means you tried—so many things, so many ways to fall flat on our faces. One of the often-cited definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results each time. That is to be more the concept of variation or possibly even the concept of improvement, but many call that the definition or clinical view of insanity. We work on perfecting things, so doing the same thing over and over, with the goal eventually of perfecting it, isn’t crazy. I know from my many friends that spend far more time thinking about these things that we need to see the big picture.
I wanted to examine failure. Failure is an acceptable part of human existence. It is part of nature. We, as machines start failing the moment we are born. Life is, after all, a series of failures. What we do between those failures are the successes we have and carry with us. It is ok to fail. It is ok to drop the ball. Sometimes we have to die. There is no stigma attached (hopefully). I will end with the thought presented in the poem, Casey at-bat. Casey let two strikes go by before he swung his bat. That was a failure of choice. It was a loss born wholly of Casey’s arrogance. Those are the failures that we as people are least likely to recover from quickly. Failure is a part of life, what we do with our failures shows where we are as people!
This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)