An Illustration of Michael Goodwin’s Losing the Freedom to Fail
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
Dec 2010
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Michael Goodwin is absolutely right when he says that many Americans have lost their freedom to fail due to the new craze of entitlements. It is the knowledge from numerous failures that eventually leads to success. Success is meaningless without the appreciation of failures or character acquired from the fear of failure.

Babies fall many times before they begin to walk, and then run effectively. Thomas Edison after making a light bulb was asked why it took over 3000 attempts to get it right, and he said he had now learned 3000 ways not to create a light bulb. It is the knowledge gained from failure or the fear of it, as well as the pursuit of happiness (determination to succeed) that leads to real success.

I used to be a math teacher in private middle and high schools in Atlanta that was filled with children of the rich. Many of my students would challenge me in class about the use and necessity of what I was teaching rather than paying attention to the subject matter. It was so obvious that these children have been raised by their rich parents to believe that money and power was everything, and that the purpose of education was just to be seen as educated and well spoken. They would even ask me why I was different from the other teachers by not passing them easily or giving them matching types of questions.

Despite the fact that I was born in Ohio, I did my grade school education in Nigeria, where you start writing explanatory essays of what you have read in the 7th grade. I wanted to lift my children up to that standard, but parents would not allow it. In fact, parents challenged the school so much that none allowed me to teach a second year even after getting far above-average reviews and a second year contract with a maximum salary raise.

Knowledge for community service is suppose to be the highest form of wealth, but many Americans today believe it is the mass acquisition of money, so they raise their children in that manner. After all, why waste time learning how to do things right and be good at it, when you can use the right connections to be the boss, hire the educated guys, tell them what to do, and remind them that education is meaningless. This is part of the trickle down mentality you hear in politics today. Give tax breaks to the rich and closed-minded corporation managers, and they will let it trickle down to the educated hardworking idiots looking for work. The fear to fail or the knowledge derived from it in order to succeed is no longer an option. Just hurry up to where the money and connections are, and then you are a successful and great American without a solid foundation in principle or common sense.

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