On Friday a talented fellow slicer wrote about the word failure after being inspired by yet another slicer. It managed to get me intrigued with the word failure as I responded to her post below…
My intrigue with this word reminded my of a wonderful Shakespeare class in college where we had to pick just one word that was mentioned several times from the play we were reading at the time (one of the histories). We then had to go look up the meaning of that word in the grand old Oxford English Dictionary. I picked the word favor. The idea was for us to explore the multiple meanings of the word and how Shakespeare used the same words in different ways. Often his use of a specific word could be taken in multiple ways at the same time. I do not think I am doing justice in explaining the assignment, but I do know I found it all fascinating. It really opened my eyes to see how brilliant Shakespeare really was.
Since access to the OED online requires a subscription, I had to make due with a lesser online dictionary and perhaps a little bit of playfulness in my closer look at the word failure above.
When it comes to the failure I think we could all rally a bit in encouraging the celebration of failure. I too see kids who are afraid to take risks. Nobody really wants to lose. However losing can help one look for the good. It often can eventually lead to winning and perhaps the maturity to realize that winning doesn’t really matter much in the big picture of life. My father often said, “it all evens out when you are twenty one.”
How do we encourage ourselves and others to take risks? I think of it as jumping off the high dive for the first time. It is often so scary, but in the end so worth it. I am captivated with the dance that happens with the words failure and risk. I love how words often sound like how they mean. When speaking out loud the word failure, the breath goes up with an effort and then there is an easing down. With the word risk, the breath just goes up – and one holds it for a nanosecond – it could be thrilling or it could be painful.