Perhaps one of the biggest shortcomings of the traditional education system is how it inculcates a fear of failure in its students. As a student myself, I have spent countless nights studying how Edison took 86 tries to invent the lightbulb and how Einstein dropped out of school at the age of fifteen… all in a desperate attempt to pass in the next day’s test.
And I’ve a bone to pick not with regards to fact that it places immense pressure on students at such a tender age, but with regards to how it leaves us so utterly unprepared for real life. Because, what’s real life if not a ladder that pushes you down two rungs every time you climb one? Because, what’s success if not a moment in the spotlight after thousands of setbacks and rejections?
Students are taught to study to pass, not to top. Students are taught that it’s fine if they cheat as long as they don’t get caught. Students are taught that it’s better to take the well-tested path of mediocrity than forge their own path, and in that process, stare failure in the face. Students are taught that failure is something to be ashamed of. Students are taught that failure, somehow, makes them inadequate.
But the only thing this is doing is creating generations of humans that’ll do nothing but watch as the world crumbles around them, generations that’ll buckle under the slightest pressure, generations that’ll run away every time something remotely difficult happens— generations that will have forgotten how to live with their heads held high.
I believe that the fear of failure is the mother of all fears. Let me put it this way— it is how a runner would react if he fell down during the most important race of his career. (continued in comment)