The Virtue of Failure?

I found this in my queue of unpublished posts.  I discovered a few others, like one about the use of Hitler in politics.  Oddly, I thought I waited to long…and yet now it seems more timely than ever.  But this particular post has been sitting in queue for awhile…but I kind of like it.  So I thought I would publish it.

In a conversation with Bob Barr, Glenn Beck said we used to value people failing in this country.

Well, specifically, he said:

Do you think the problem is — with the Republicans, they got tied up into the compassionate conservative thing? Which is, the — I don`t even know what that means. Is that an admission that conservatives are not compassionate? I think the most compassionate thing you can do is let a man fail. Let a man find himself. Let a man pull himself up by the bootstraps. That used to be something that was admired in this country. Now it`s not.

I get that he was saying the bootstraps thing was valued. And it was. It still is. But the failing part he ties directly into pulling up by the bootstraps? Failure has never been a virtue. Nobody said, “Joe Bob failed? Awesome! That’s great. That’s what America is about.” No, Joe Bob faced humiliation and disrespect for his failure. Sure, if he eventually succeeds? Joe Bob becomes a hero…and example of the American Dream.

But we rarely applaud failure.  Sometimes we mock it.  Sometimes we ignore it.   We might offer the person who failed some platitude that amounts to better luck next time.  Something about how this failure could open the door to something better.  And that is only if the failure doesn’t hurt anyone else.  If a lot of people are hurt?  Say, lose jobs due to the failure?  Then the person who failed risked people wanting them to suffer.  But no one, and I am confident in saying this…no one ever truly admires someone for a failure.  We’ve never valued it.



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  1. The truth is America is in a downward spiral of narcism. We have forgotten the meaning of kindness precisely because we have become so obsessed with getting kindness for ourselves. But kindness is no longer meaningfully compassionate if it is only from oneself and for oneself. Modern Americans have the wrong reason for being compassionate. They really are obsesed with having it for themselves. They want others to share in their narcism. Its all inside out now as a result. Nothing is said of religion for fear of offending someone. Nothing is done to correct mistakes because that would hurt someones feelings. Spanking is off limits now because its “abusive”. You have all been duped. What appears to be kindness is merely blind ecceptance of everything including cruelty and stupidity and all manner of debauchery!!!!!!!!

    • I love folks talking of how were “not compassionate anymore”

      Mind telling me when we were to begin with?
      I don’t see any more compassion and kindness in the past than I do in the present, I just see that in the present we have news channels and mass media that actually show how screwy we are as humanity.

      and BTW, It’s think you meant Narcissism,, there is no such word as ‘narcism’

  2. Many Americans don’t get it that kindness includes intollerance. They have gone full throttle abandoning reason for emotion. Go to any liberal church and they will tell you love in tollerance!!!

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