- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z"l #leadership
Nov 10, 2020
Failure is the supreme learning experience, and the best people, the true heroes, are those most willing to fail. - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
"Failure is the supreme learning experience, and the best people, the true heroes, are those most willing to fail. Whenever a young rabbi comes to seek advice after making a mistake, I tell him about professional photographers. They take dozens of exposures in the hope that one will be presentable. A success ratio of one in several dozen sounds like failure. But it is that willingness to endure failure in pursuit of an ideal that marks the true professional. In fact, that is not a bad definition of faith. One of the most empowering truths of Judaism and Christianity is that God forgives our failures so long as we acknowledge them as failures. He does not expect us to be perfect. As Ecclesiastes says: “No one on Earth is so righteous as to do only right and never to sin.” God lifts us when we fall, gives us hope when we despair, and believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. In truth, the great religious leaders did not believe in themselves at all. “I am not a man of words”, said Moses when asked to lead the Israelites. “I cannot speak, I am only a child,” said Jeremiah when told to preach God’s word. “The credit belongs,” said Theodore Roosevelt, to one “who strives valiantly” and errs often, “because there is no effort without error or shortcoming.” Even if such a person fails, he “fails while daring greatly, so his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat”. Even more than the strength to win, we need the courage to try, the willingness to fail, the readiness to learn and the faith to persist."
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