It is understandable enough to find someone wearing a downcast face after failing in an exam, an interview, a match for which the person had invested time in preparation. You go in for something full of hope, courage and determination and then... in the end of it you are declared loser, or "failed"...
The worst kind of failure could be this feeling that we have wasted in life. To feel that you chose the wrong profession. The languid sense of having chosen the wrong partner in your love relationship. The frustration of an unhappy marriage, the pain of incomprehension from others... failure could be so heart-breaking sometimes. We may feel like all the forces of the world are conspiring against us.
There are two attitudes that follow failure: we may become intolerable, unforgiving towards our own selves. Or, we may choose to accept who we are and deal with it as faith.
Whatever kind of failure we may experience, the truth is that we are not a FAILURE per se. The pain that many people go through result from this: that they do not separate themselves from the experience they are living. They are so touched that they "take it personally" as we say often. You may fail in something or in your dream in life, but it is wrong to allow it to incite a sense of unhappiness in you. It is tragic to identify to your failure. You may fail, but you are not a failure... failure is just an instance of awakening, a point in the journey, a preparation for another kind of success that may not even be what we have been looking for.
There is never failure as such. I don't believe in failure... that is a sad term coined by cynics whose gaze looks down the slanting curve. No one ever fails who never tried. The guts to try is, in itself, self-conquest. I always remember a stanza of the poem of Bernard Fonlon Nsokika, he wrote it, remembering happier days. That was almost at the close of his life:
I see my dying bed,
The futile years behind it;
A life all fruitless led,
With scarce a soul to mind it.
that is dismay, sombre, dark...challenging... but then he moves on, searching hope.
Great men the stories say,
Oft also stood uncertain;
Of what before them lay,
Beneath the future's curtain.
And lo, comes the peace of knowing it was not all in vain...
But forging on
The end they won
While God illumined their way;
And buoyed by this
I feel some bliss
The thought that I had tried.
I can fail... I can see no happy end to all my strivings, I may not bloom in my relationships, I may not be top in my profession, no one may not read these lines I am writing. But, I would never despair, I never shall be a failure. I move on, clutching and hugging the thought that "I had tried"