Examining Failure

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It’s Sunday again, time for another sermonette.

Yes, I realize that this is a bit of a polemic, but I’m in that kind of mood today.  Life isn’t fair — ever. Not to anyone. I am amazed at the pampered leftist, rich Hollywood pukes who kill themselves because it’s so damned difficult. None of those people have had to wash their own Bentleys, miss a meal or even fly in the back of the airplane but it’s so damned daunting for them. People line up to kiss their asses…but it’s all so tough for them.

I’m not saying that life is easy for anyone because for all of us, the only easy days are over our shoulders. But, on with the sermonette.

When I was in the US military going through an arduous training program, I was allowed to answer a question in one of four ways:

  • Yes, sir. 
  • No, sir. 
  • No excuse, sir.
  • Sir, I do not understand.
It seemed unfair. A lot of times things happened and there was perfectly good reason for why I screwed the pooch. I wanted to let them know why it wasn’t my fault. Nobody cared in the least. If I had failed, there was no excuse. Period. “Good to go”, meant that I was ready and if it turned out that things didn’t work out quite the way I’d hoped they would – it was my fault.  Others depended on me to do what I said that I’d do. So I had to do it — not just try to do it.
Most of the time life isn’t fair. Things do not always go our way, or the mission seems impossible and the rules are unduly arbitrary.
We all have a weakness deep inside us. The more hard things we do, the more challenges we overcome, the harder it is to give in to the weakness, but whether you’re a civilian or a hardened operator, it’s inside us somewhere. There is always that moment when you fear failure, when you’re not sure if you can do it, when you start running through the excuses in your head. Most of the time they are valid. But the only easy day is yesterday. So you need to suck it up.
Those who can’t suck it up, ring the bell and quit. The simple truth is, not all of us become the men or women we once hoped we might be. There is a whole world of quitters and shirkers around us. Society rewards them, the weak minded pander to them. The more they are coddled (not taught, coddled), the weaker they become. They are the poster children for failure.
The only one who can fix you is you. The only one responsible for your screw up is you. At some point, given enough pain and drawing strength from that pain, refusing to quit, we all learn, as I did, that there is no excuse, because when we fail, we don’t just fail ourselves but those around us.

And if you’re strong enough, you end up hunting the evil in the world that most people pretend doesn’t exist. That’s not much of a reward, but that’s all there is.

I’ve been told that my sermonettes are not particularly holy. Mia culpa!
In an effort to be more holy, I am posting this photo of Coptic priests. Does that help with the whole sermonette vibe?  In the photo, they are voting for Pope Shenouda III. I don’t know anything about Pope Shenouda one, two or three. However, I’m sure that the image evokes old men with bad hygiene in outfits that are not conducive for desert life in Egypt. How much more orthodox can one blogger get than a photo like this one (credit: Reuters)?

11 thoughts on “Examining Failure

  1. Having studied enough psychology to become at best dangerous, I would concur wholeheartedly with your sermon, LL.

    Put in pysco-babble-ese, people view the world from two different perspectives:

    1, External locus of control: there are those who consider everything that has ever or will ever happen to them is beyond their control. Others determine how their lives turn out, regardless of their own personal input. Why fight the powers that be? It won't matter, since 'The Man' is calling the shots. Liberals all think this way, with the exception of the liberal leaders that actual become 'The Man.'

    2. Internal locus of control. These kind of thinkers recognize their are powers that are beyond their control, and take steps to minimize what direction over their decisions these powers inflict upon them. They focus on what they themselves can effect in their own lives, and maximize their efforts accordingly. We call these people conservatives.

    Advice to those whose outlook on life is based on an external locus of control: buck up. Likelihood of that advice being taken by these losers?: zero, since they would argue "why try?"

  2. I think you've explained Saint Shaboom-Shaboom and Father Yanananana quite well. Who could do it better? ……………….. Well, maybe the Bearded Wonder of Rat-Dog Gulch, but no one else,

  3. My father, who was an educated man that hated Harvard, referred to Pope Shenouda as Pope Sheboygan. I've always found that helpful.

  4. Nah, man, you're not wrong. The only person responsible for me is me, and the only actions I'm responsible for are mine. And that applies to every other human on earth. Any action taken by any other person on the planet is their responsibility. There may be some outside causes, but the reaction to those causes are solely theirs.

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