Success Through Failure

There is a great deal of controversy with the idea of bailouts, both for Wall Street and for individual home owners. Many seem to feel that those who are hurting should get assistance from the government. These individuals believe that it is the government's responsibility to protect it's citizens from harm. While I would agree with this idea regarding security matters, I do not feel that it is proper at a personal level.

I state this without a particular ideology. Rather, I come from the simple perspective that success is achieved as a result of failure. The government does a disservice when it hinders people's path to success. Often, this road is wrought with failure.

History reveals hundreds of examples of people who failed before they succeeded. Abraham Lincoln is one in particular. He lost numerous elections during the course of his life. However, he presided over one of the most important periods in U.S. history. Donald Trump is another financial success who bounced back from bankruptcy. Colonel Sanders was retired scratching out an existence on Social Security before starting Kentucky Fried Chicken. Robert De Niro took 10 years to become "an overnight success". The list goes on and on.

The point is that failure is often a prelude to achievement. When we fail, if we are reflective, we learn valuable lessons. These insights help us to avoid pitfalls in the future. It is through the act of failing that we are strengthened.

This is all lost when we are "taken care of". The government stepping in to insulate us causes more harm. It weakens that individual. In this situation, many people got loans they could not afford. This is a lesson that they need to learn. Refinancing one's house, thus increasing debt, to pay for "toys" is a lesson in financial irresponsibility. This is something many need to learn.

As for the institutions, some banks need to fail. They were grossly negligent and irresponsible also. Those which have weak balance sheets should be absorbed by one that is more stable. This is the way of business. With the depositors protected, the only ones at risk are the shareholders. This is another group that needs to learn a lesson. If they do, their chance of investing success increases. We are strengthened by our failures.

I use the term "government" here since that is what is in the headlines at the moment. However, we could substitute anyone or anything that insulates us from our grow opportunities. This could just as easy be an overly protective parent. Before a child learns to ride a bike, he or she needs to fall a few times. It is part of the process. One who prevents this child from experiencing the "failure" also robs him or her the joy of riding a bicycle. Success is a result of failure.

It is said that Edison ran over 10,000 tests before discovering the electric light bulb. Imagine if the government steped in after 5,000 failures and told Edison that they would pay him even though he didn't achieve his goal. It would be a pretty dark world right now.
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