Thursday, October 13, 2011

National Fail Day - The Fail Is Strong In Us All


Today is Finland's National Fail Day. In a culture where failing is embarrassing and generally considered a weakness, people have created this event to celebrate learning, maturing and reaching success through this notion which is a part of human nature.

Coming from a country where failure is also considered unacceptable in the workplace and at school, I have a special love for this day. Our entire educational system in Greece operates as if the default state of each student is a big disappointing failure. We are raised by our schools feeling like useless beings who should feel honored that the teachers are even bothering with us. We are mocked by classmates and looked upon as screw ups by teachers if we can't answer a question or solve a problem and praise comes in very small doses.

It is the same in the workplace. Work like a dog, work all day, don't complain and for the love of decency, never fail. Because when you fail, some money might be lost and money is far more important to the ones who made failure shameful than your own self-respect and growth.

I myself am guilty of fearing failure, exactly because most people will judge another person for it. I cannot forgive myself when I fail and I generally try and keep myself away from situations that might cause failure, meaning life in general. And this is a way in which this mindset is harming mankind.

Failure is inevitable and failure exists for a reason. It is through failure that we improve. We make mistakes, we learn, we adapt and move on. We realize more about the world, ourselves, our capabilities and our own limitations.

A successful failure is one that leaves us richer and more aware as people after it has been made. The only type of failure which causes harm is the kind that leaves us with nothing. The one that does not help us learn and causes us to repeat it.

So, I propose we make this an International Fail Day and celebrate the fact that we are human and that we evolve through our mistakes.

Bellow, you have a slideshow about this day (in english) as well as the official site for it (finnish only). It contains information on events throughout the country, where people gather and share their fail stories, as well as individual fail stories people can send to the page and have published, in a celebration of failure.

So, Happy Fail Day to all!

Epäonnistumisen Päivä - Official Site
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