Even before Dhoni and team lost their first match in the T20 World Cup, some in our media sniffed it in the air, and reported trouble every day. So when they actually lost three matches, the media had a good story to tell!
I have realized that it makes best sense to predict an Indian defeat. If the team wins, you are happy, and celebrate; and if it does lose, you become an expert! And so celebrate!
But I write this time to share a different thought – on what is “shame”. A day after India’s defeats on the cricket field, I switch on a news channel, and I see the heading “India Shamed”. I couldn’t fathom this. Yes, Dhoni and team have lost a few matches and made an unexpected exit when we expected them to win the Cup. Now that’s disappointing, I agree. If you are a diehard fan, you could even say it is disgusting! But shameful?
Is failure shameful?
If we need to go beyond the ordinary, if we have to succeed in a big way, I believe we need to get comfortable with failure. We cannot make quantum jumps if we are unwilling to aspire for big things, and whenever we do it, we put ourselves at risk. Failing is uncomfortable, and disappointing, but when we learn from failures, we lay the foundations of success. It is attributed to Edison that he succeeded at the light bulb only after 700 failed attempts, and he saw these not as failures but as learning 700 ways in which a light bulb will not work.
Many years back, my younger sister told me, “I have always come first or second in whatever I have attempted.” I knew she was extremely talented and was proud of her, but I told her, “This means you have not tried many things – you have not explored the limits of what is possible.”
So what is shameful?
Cheating or lying one’s way to success is shameful. Insensitivity to others while pursuing our agenda is shameful. Depriving others of their lives or livelihood while we build our own careers is shameful. Yes, failures are also shameful when we refuse to learn from them and make the same mistakes repeatedly. Failing and refusing to take responsibility is also shameful.
But failing, per se, cannot be shameful, specially when we take responsibility, learn from our setbacks, and move on.