OP-ED: What is the True Price of Failure?

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By Richard Johnson, Folsom Prison

A casual glimpse at our surroundings will provide us with a clear depiction of the obvious dismal conditions that we find ourselves locked into.

We’ve lost respect for the concept of the greater good as being the quintessential guiding light that provides sight, vision and direction in life. And, none of us are without fault when it comes to having actionable oversight of our lives and seeking that which gives light in our lives.

For some, this complacency with just existing with the norm, results within a condition of just daily muddling along, lost, with no thought of the present or the future.

And, more importantly, they often have an even less thought of any religious devotions, which functions as the pedestal that gives us some sense of perception, knowledge and awareness to live a meaningful life. What we accumulate becomes the measuring stick.

Failure has become the norm rather than the exception. It’s no anomaly or peculiarity, simply because the allure of not measuring up has become so enticing that we gravitate toward it, instead of elevating beyond its reach.

This doesn’t mean that we seek out failure, but rather we must do more in our lives to not only improve ourselves, but also improve life itself. This is why I write these columns to warn our youth and others to avoid the pressures and pitfalls of “getting over at any cost.”

Failure, whether for the individual or society, is never an isolated incident. It’s a system of interrelated events that fall short of its potential for us.

We’re a family of people, even with our diverse religious beliefs and objectives, yet the commonality that connects us to one another is our humanity, and the “Price of Failure” that resonates in all of us becomes our signature of living.

You don’t have to be a mathematician or an academic scholar to understand that when one facet of life is defeated, it also affects other aspects. Simply said, your failures are mine, just as mine are yours.

This, for me, is the meaning of the “Tree of Life,” a community of family.

It took me a while to understand this meaning, because in this society, we’re led to believe that everything centers on individuality while collective thought is characterized as being wrong and inconsequential.

This is why chaos and turmoil prevails as the standard, allowing failure to rule. The ultimate price of failure demonstrates that we as a community are failing, and the only way to success is for us to understand that it takes a tribe to sufficiently raise a family.

It matters not of your status in this world, for in the eyes of the one deity and in the presence of God, the supreme creator of our universe, what counts most is that we’re all equal.

Failure, in actuality and thought, limits us from long-range successful outcomes. You can be the determining factor between failure and ultimate success, if you so choose.

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