Try again

Drew and his teammates after his final high school baseball game, a close and well-played loss

Drew and his teammates after his final high school baseball game,
a close and well-played loss, June 2002

“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”Samuel Beckett

I have always loved this quote.  It acknowledges the predominance of failure along with the crucial importance of tenacity.  From the early explorers, to Abraham Lincoln, to Thomas Edison and countless other examples, world history teaches us that the ability to fail repeatedly without giving up has been the foundation on which all human progress has been built.

As we close out another year and look back on our blessings and disappointments, let’s remember that our resolutions for the coming year must be fortified by the understanding that very little, if anything, will come easily.  May we all enter 2013 willing to fail better; to remain steadfast in our attempts at improvement and to be content, when necessary, with gradual steps in the right direction.

13 Comments

  1. Giving up is easy. Tenacity is responsible for most, if not all, of the successes and “better failures” in this life. The scriptures give many admonitions to persevere. And of course I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s most famous speech….”Never, never, never give up”. Thank you, Julia, for such valuable encouragement!

    • Thanks, Carla. There are so many inspiring examples throughout history that teach us to persevere. Many things deemed impossible were made reality by people who refused to give up.

  2. Hey, julia! Your Blog is inspiring and poetic! I love it, I come back to you soon!
    Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend! Cheers!

    • Thanks so much for joining us here! I look forward to visiting your blog as well.

  3. A beautiful and illuminating message!

    • Thank you, Wendell! I just stopped by your blog and started following it; I will look forward to your inspiring messages.

  4. When I was in seminary, I had a professor who once told us – “One of the things you will hopefully learn in pastoral ministry is not so much how to succeed, but how to fail better.” I found it to be very true.

    • Yes, so many of the things we pray for — patience, humility, submission to God — are better learned from failure than from success (or what appears at the time to be failure or success; even these notions are sometimes subjective).

  5. Megan

    What a perfect and poignant picture to include with this quote! Even in something as “little” (in the grand scheme of things) as baseball, it is somewhat amazing that those who love the game so much, and who inevitably see so many ‘fails’ that they do not give up on it — a bad call that ruins a whole season, for example. But yet, I see Drew, even now, anticipate and look forward to another baseball season — with all of the joys and disappointments it will cause between April and September. (In fact, the hardest thing about the last game of the season does not seem to be the loss, but that the game is over for seven months!) It seems there is a lesson here for life, but I’m not sure I have the words yet to make sense of it. For now, I’ll just look at that picture, and think of that quote.

    • Megan, I am so glad you like it! That photo is one of my favorites. They were up against a very tough team with a pitcher who was being scouted by the majors – and Drew hit very well the entire game, but was left stranded on base at the end (you can see him pulling off his batting gloves). Drew always seemed to play his best at the end of the season. And he knew this would be his final game ever, since he had already chosen (against my advice) not to pursue playing in college. I think baseball taught him a lot.

Trackbacks

  1. Built in hope | Defeat Despair
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