BY SHEENA BLAKE
My father has this fascination with failure. He talks about it all the time. In fact, he is even wanting to start a group where he and other elders celebrate young peoples’ failures and reward them…
When he first brought the idea to me, I thought that he was crazy. I mean, I know that there are a million and one people on YouTube that tell us to accept our failures, fail our way to success, allow our failures to propel us, but what Poppa was suggesting was something slightly different. He was suggesting that elders create a forum whereby juniors are CELEBRATED for messing up!
Now, I sat with the idea for a little while. I was trying to make some sense of it. When I made mistakes as a child, my father used to cheer for me. Again, I thought he was crazy. How could we celebrate mistakes? How do we cheer for failure?
This action sounds pretty awful, and when I was a kid, sometimes it was! However, now that I am an adult, I can see the value in what my parents were teaching me.
Every single time I was going towards my vision, towards something that I desired, something went wrong; something broke my heart; something slowed me down. They would always ask me what the lesson was. They still ask me what the lesson is!
So, what’s my point? My point is that failure, in and of itself, is just a word, a concept. What a person does with the concept is what makes them grow or remain stagnant. In celebrating a failure, Poppa aims to allow the lesson from the concept to emerge rather than the idea of doom and catastrophe to vibrate through us.
I asked him how he would celebrate a person’s mess up. He told me that all of the elders would cheer. They would whistle and clap and chant and raise the vibration of the space. He said that young people have to understand that life is about emotion. If they sit in the feeling that all is lost, that all is over, that they can’t win, then they have lost; every time. But, if they know that falling down (failing) is the best part of the journey to success; if they know that they are not alone and are loved throughout the process of falling down; if they know that they can see failure differently and be honoured and praised for getting to a point of being able to fail, well, then they win. Their emotions shift. They know they are not alone. When you are not alone, you win.
My dad has some pretty silly ideas, most of the time, but this time, I think that he is really on to something. If people have a cheering squad who cheer them on for going instead of winning, then they win every time. They begin to realize that life is about falling and getting up and having the wisdom to know that our emotions create our world.
Personally, I would love to see it. I would love to feel a room filled with elders cheering. Actually, the thought brings tears to my eyes.
If you are an elder to anyone, try cheering on a junior for their failure. Cheer them and praise them and give them a bandaid and rejoice in their ability to fail.
I can imagine how many people will grow, feel well and succeed…ok, Poppa, this is a pretty good idea.