A reporter once asked GWB’s press officer, “How do you explain your failure to capture Osama bin Laden?”
The White House press officer said, “We don’t look at that as a failure, but as a success that hasn’t happened yet.”
There’s a lot to be said for potential, and the future is uncertain; the guy was right. Just because they hadn’t caught bin Laden up till then didn’t mean they wouldn’t. Still, the “spin” was hilarious.
In the web of a human life the notion of success is very complex. I’m an enormous success because I have an income, a home, enough to eat, a reliable car to drive and I can pay my bills. I’ve also been extremely successful in the matter of dogs. On the other hand, I’m a huge failure because I never managed to form a lasting romantic relationship and live happily ever after. I’m a great success as a writer because I wrote three good novels. I’m a failure as a writer because my books are not best-sellers. I’m an enormous success as a writer because two book groups are reading them this winter. A group in Texas is reading Martin of Gfenn and a group in Montana is reading The Brothers Path.
I’m a success because I’ve done three paintings I’m enormously proud of and love enough to hang on my own walls. That says a lot because generally, I don’t like looking at my own work. I was a huge failure as a teacher because I never got tenure. I was a huge success as a teacher because people learned from me and some were even inspired. I’m also yugely successful because I have fulfilled my dreams of traveling and seeing more than the confines of my world, my country, my expectations; I’ve made opportunities for myself to follow that star, though some people have said, “You’re lucky.” Not luck; priorities. I’ve managed to learn a few languages well enough to “get by” in different countries. I did that myself as I discovered in college that the way languages are taught in school doesn’t help me learn. I’m a huge success because I’ve enjoyed my life.
However, I’m still struggling to successfully defeat this virus.
That’s the way it goes. Some things are in my control, most is out of my hands.