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Friday, October 2, 2015

A Failure



In 1885, a twenty-three year old man saw a gas-powered engine and fell in love.  He worked a night shift as an engineer and during the day, he played around with what this engine might be able to do.  By 1986, he built a carriage and showed it to some folks.  He was able to attract some investors, but then things went south quickly, because there were demands for this and demands for that and eventually, the company dissolved. 

But he tried again. 

One financial backer stuck with this young man, but hired someone to oversee him.  You know, someone to look over his shoulder.  This time, the young man called it quits and went off on his own.

Everyone had written him off, but the young man stayed with it.  He caught the eye of another gentleman with a similar interest and agreed to back him, and not meddle.

In 1904, this young man who never gave up his dream, who failed not once, but twice – at least – developed the Model A.  This young man’s name is Henry Ford.

A fairly famous basketball player didn’t make varsity in his sophomore year because he was told he was too short.  He grew four inches between sophomore and junior year, and ended up making the varsity.  As a senior, was a McDonald’s All-American, was a four year starter at UNC, and eventually won an NBA Championship.  His name is Michael Jordan.

These two men are very different from each other, but they share one commonality: at one time in their lives, they were considered to be A Failure.

So I ask you, what is A Failure?

It’s true that both of these men didn’t hit their mark or achieve their goal the first time out.  Perhaps, they didn’t hit their goal the second time out.  But eventually, they sure did.

There was a man named Jim.  Didn’t do very well in high school.  Not very athletic.  Not a member of “the crowd.”  Grades, sub-par.  Actually went to a community college for a semester or so, but didn’t do well.  Went for technical training, but didn’t like the work.  Enlists in the Air Force, serves a hitch in Vietnam.  Comes back home and graduates with honors with a double major in Art and Architecture. 

He starts a company and does okay, but nothing super.  He ends up teaching at a technical college and was one of their most respected and most requested teachers.  He retires and with his wife, opened an RV Park.  Is doing phenomenally well.  So well, in fact, that the park is sold out.

Very proud of my brother, Jim.  Kind of a hero to me.  Certainly someone I look up to.  Proud to have had him as a godfather to both my son, Wil, and my daughter, Emily.

But, was he A Failure?

If we use the same measuring stick as we did with Henry Ford or Michael Jordan, then I guess he would be.  But maybe we need to change the measuring stick.  Maybe we should throw out the measuring stick.

Having been in education for 39 years, and having been a counselor for 11 or so years, I’ve come to the conclusion a long time ago that all kids get it . . . eventually.  It might not be on our time or in our time frame.  It might not our way of doing things.  But I believe that all kids eventually get it.  All kids.

Maybe we shouldn’t judge kids with the same measuring stick.  Maybe we shouldn’t judge kids at all.  Maybe we don’t say that this one failed or that one failed.  Instead, perhaps we should say that he or she didn’t get it . . . yet!  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives, is in the hands of the publisher, and I was informed that it will be a November release date.  Could be sooner, but I’d plan on November.  I’m really proud of this one.  Ends the story line, but not necessarily the characters.  There will be other books, but not a continuation of this particular theme.  So, look for Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy in November.

Here is the series with current kindle pricing, and all are free on Kindle Unlimited.

Book #1: Stolen Lives $3.99

Book #2: Shattered Lives $5.99

Prequel to the Lives Trilogy: Taking Lives $.99

Book #3: Splintered Lives - November!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe