Monday, September 17, 2007

"If At First You Don't Succeed - QUIT"

A rather dumpy, unattractive young man came into Wal-Mart the other day, his too-tight t-shirt accentuating each every unsightly lump on his body, and the motto, "If At First You Don't Succeed - QUIT" brandished across it.

To be perfectly honest, the very concept, as well as related concepts, makes me ill. What kind of a culture do we live in when this concept is not only popular, and typical, but brandished across people's chests? Where would we be if this idea were abided by?

Popular variations of "If at first you don't succeed, quit" include: If at first you don't succeed... destroy all evidence that you tried, failure may be your style, redefine success, quit; don't be a nut about success... etc. Don't be a nut about success. I think that's the one that really riles me.

We all know the story of the light bulb. If Edison had given up after his first try, or even his first ten tries, or his first hundred tries, would anyone else have picked up where he left off? We wouldn't have had electricity nearly as soon... would we even have it now?

What about the telephone? That wasn't a one-try event. In fact, it took a span of more than 30 years to get from proving that the metal could vibrate and produce electric impulses to transmitting one sentence. More recently, it took multiple attempts to get cell phones to go from one carrier to another, particularly when the first was more advanced than the second - which is probably why most carriers sell "family plans."

The vacuum, that was no easy feat. Researchers and scientists world-wide spent years trying to create a usable suction. It took even longer to get that suction to work with the same magnitude that it does today. And even longer than that for it to be a small, compatible size.

What's with the defeatist attitude? What happened to "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again?" Don't you want to do something with your life? Don't you want to make something of yourself? Or do you just want to sit in front of the television, mindlessly letting life pass you by?

1 comment:

Melody said...

Well we live in a society where we believe it is the government's job to hand us health and prosperity so the logical conclusion is that working for anything is a waste of time.