Thursday, November 15, 2012

For My Son on his 12th Birthday: Fail Boldly


Fail boldly

Fail boldly in your endeavors
at least once
so long as it is worthy
and if you are sailing by the siren call of your own
inner guide
for that compass always steers true.
And even if the destination
is not where you intended to land
the journey is what makes you strong
and gives you interesting things to talk about
when you get old.
Fail boldly
and hate it
the taste of it, the smell of it
the hard reality of it
the humiliation and stress and sense of defeat.
Let it sting
let it ache
keep it close to you so you never forget.
Some people spend their lives running
from pain and trying to mask it.
I call them cowards.
Courage is not like you see in the movies
where the good guys win and the bad guys lose
where everything assimilates into
something dignified and sensible at the end.
Courage is much greater than that
because in this mean and petty world,
nothing is ever assured
and often, doing what's right means standing alone
while the rest of the world looks on and sneers.
But nothing silences critics like success.
Nothing shuts the gaping maws of the cackling hordes
like a man who failed boldly and got back on his feet to
win.
So wait
and train and plan and prepare
and when you win
win decisively.

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