Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Monday, March 29, 2004  

In Praise of Failed Men

It is one of our cherished mottos that success breeds success; and we are confident that if we appoint only successful men to positions of prominence, any project undertaken by these men is bound to be successful, too.

This is our form of paganism, since underlying the American myth of success is the primitive belief that some people are just plain lucky -- just as certain numbers are, or certain days, or certain arrangements of the planets.
From TCS

The article is a fine and brief meditation of the uses of failure and the nature of hubris.

A good example of failure and it uses would U. S. Grant. Robert E. Lee's success emboldened him to the point of folly at Gettysburg, whereas Grant's failures in life, made him stalwart, persevering, and unflappable. He was used to setbacks.

Napolean, too, thought he had become invincible at war.

Of course, most of us live ordinary lives with less scope than heroes of cautionary tales, but I notice that people often depend on their health with an assumption that they will always be healthy, and are shocked when it fails. Ot people work for a company and assume it will last until they retire. (That's very old school, now.)

So much that humans do is whistling past the graveyard. Much of that is necessary or life becomes paralyzed by misgivings and indecision, but far too much of it is voluntary blindness to reality, such as American prosperity. We are losing the understanding of what produces wealth; that people produce wealth. Not governments.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:46 AM |