Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Science Of Failure

This quote caught my attention today as I read another blog:

"Failure does not strike like a bolt from the blue; it develops gradually according to its own logic. As we watch individuals attempt to solve problems, we will see that complicated situations seem to elicit habits of thought that set failure in motion from the beginning. From that point, the continuing complexity of the task and the growing apprehension of failure encourage methods of decision making that make failure even more likely and then inevitable. We can learn, however. People court failure in predictable ways." (The book is called The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Dorner. Originally published in Germany in 1989, it was reprinted in the United States in 1986.)

How do we "court failure"? This term connotates a romance or a dance. We flirt, impress, and seduce failure until we claim it as our own. This idea overwhelmed me this evening as I returned from an incredibly long day.

This morning, I filled in for a local teacher in a high school Special Education Dept. The class was titled "Severe & Profound." The three students in the class, all ranging in age from 15-18, were severely physically and mentally disabled. Two ate through feeding tubes in their stomachs. One missed school yesterday to have an injection of a muscle relaxer in his pump around his kidneys. Of the three, only one had the ability to comprehend numbers (1-5) or any colors. All three needed to be changed three times during the course of the day.

With these three students in mind, how can we look at the patterns in their lives? None are able to dream of future independence; however, each extended love and affection to everyone throughout the day. All hugged me when the day was over. Could their lives be counted as failures? Absolutely not.

M three new friends illustrated great true to me today. As I focus on my inabilities and failures, my mind is flooded with the illusion of doubt. We must break those cycles.. . . end this courtship with failure. How can we recognize patterns and speak out truth to overcome our failure? Is it even possible?

Each of those students has a folder with goals for the year listed inside. They include goals such as the following: recognize the numbers 1-5, distinguish between blue and red, open and close hands, push a button by turning head. What are my goals that show success? Can I list them life those students?


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