Congratulations – You Failed!


Tasnim Hasan Career

He pats his son hard on the back with a smile. With the report card in one hand, he hugged his son with the other. He took another look at the glaring ‘D’, turned and said “Don’t let it bring you down, little man. This D will teach you more than any A ever will!”

“Failure is the first step to success”.
Many of us celebrate it, while many of us try to find meaning in it. Failure has a down-to-earth quality, which we don’t discuss in society, because it’s considered shameful. It makes us humble and modest, yanks our head out of the clouds and shows us how to go beyond. Failure shapes us to become a better version of the person we previously were.

In today’s society, we talk about the freedom of speech, human rights and being liberal -critical issues of the world. But we tend to shun the idea of failure. It is very evident that failure is highly unacceptable in many societies. In the subcontinent, it is a major stigma faced by the youth. Failed your exams? You failed in life. Failed to get a job at a top-notch company? You failed in life. Failed to setup a business? Congratulations! You’ve failed again! People start to look down upon you. While everyone looks at the downside of failure, we want to show you the bright side:

It can drive you: For me, it’s been an adventurous roller coaster ride. Through University, I was tested with failure and success simultaneously. My parents thought I wouldn’t graduate high school, but, hey, I did! Instead of letting failure drag me down, I decided to let it drive me. I am thankful to my wrong decisions, thankful to the wrong people I prioritized and thankful to my failure in academics – because when you’ve been through the fall, you have a stronger reason to climb. Failure shakes you up and gets you going!

It makes you grateful: That bad examination, that financial instability, that man’s rejection all serve as a large contrast to when things are smooth. You realize what you’ve got when everything goes well.

It makes you stronger: Where do you think a lot of people get their ‘Bring it on’ attitude? They’ve been down below and they’ve seen the worst and it has only made them stronger.

We need to stop teaching our kids that failure is something to be ashamed of. Failure is personality-development at its best and suffering is the root of all compassion. Let’s create a culture of focusing on failure for all the right reasons. Let’s celebrate it rather than condone it. Let’s keep moving and keep learning. I’ll leave you with the words of the man who gave us light:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas A. Edison