I keep hearing a phrase bandied about in political circles: too big to fail. Politicians are using this phrase to promote government bailouts of certain industries. I’m not making a political statement here, but I can’t help but think that there’s no such thing as too big to fail.
We were taught in school in a different era (I hate the way that statement makes me sound so old…) that a little failure is good for us, that it builds character. I think of some of the stories that we’ve all heard about Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S Grant, and so many others, and how they refused to let failure derail them. The brilliant Chad Hambrick posted a couple of quotes from Edison regarding that very subject on his Twitter page today. Another great mind and spiritual giant, Trey Bailey, recently wrote on his blog about Abraham Lincoln. I recently re-read David Horowitz’s autobiography, and he talked about how his failed attempt at writing a novel led him to realize that political writing was his forte.
I stumbled across a fascinating verse in researching the concept of failure:
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless
until the time of the end…
Daniel 11:35 (NIV)
Sometimes failure is an opportunity. Sometimes failure is the chance to improve. Sometimes failure is meant to be an experience that makes us stronger and better. I don’t really believe that anyone or anything is too big to fail, because I think that sometimes failure is what we need.