Friday, August 19, 2005

To succeed, or to fail, is the American Way / The Serenity Prayer / On My Honor

To succeed, or to fail, is the American way

Written by an ingenious man, and proud U.S. Patriot (2008)

“Over the last year, as the dire financial condition of more and more companies become apparent, a portion of the U.S. population voiced a perspective about businesses that could be best summarized as “let them fail.”  The public reaction to such a strategy was polarizing, to say the least. No one with a vested interest in the U.S. economy, whether as an employee, investor, retiree, or resident, wants businesses to fail.  But, the discomfort of failure is driving us to abandon the principles that have made our country and economy great.  I was an early supporter of the “let them fail” strategy, and the unfolding events of this economic crisis have further increased my conviction that it is the best approach.

I believe that the opposition to the “let them fail” strategy is primarily driven by the word “fail.”  The very use of the word fail evokes related perspectives, such as “failure is not an option,” Thoreau’s “Men are born to succeed, not fail,” and the more contemporary “too big to fail.”  What proceeds from this line of thinking is that we will do anything to prevent failure, especially to avoid the resultant loss of jobs, wealth, and standard of living.  Failure is so unpalatable that any strategy that would even allow business failure must therefore be misguided and inferior.

But I believe that all of this focus on “fail” completely misses the overriding point of “let them fail.”  There was little complaint, no civil unrest, and no populist grandstanding when the tone of our country was “let them succeed.”  Investors, employees, and employers made their own decisions and reaped the benefits or detriments that awaited them.  This is the very essence of the words “let them.” But now that the detriments we face are so unsettling we willingly and gladly embrace government invention.  The government’s involvement in the day-to-day operations of American business has massive implications, even bigger than a company’s failure or success.  The approach being used is as simple as it is effective.

They inject the money first without precondition, and then take over the business and call the shots, with the frothing taxpayer rightfully looking for satisfaction for their expended dollars.  As a result, today’s dominant theme in dealing with troubled American businesses has become we will “make them succeed” as with General Motors or we will “make them fail” as with AIG.

To fail and to succeed are equally America.  It is when we trade the words “let them” for “make them” that our America is slipping away.”

Written by an ingenius of a man, and proud U.S. Patriot (2008)

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the:
Serenity to accept the things I can not change;
Courage to change the things I can; and
Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
                            --Reinhold Niebuhr

On My Honor:

On my honor, I will try.
There's a duty to be done and I say aye.
There's a reason to be here for a reason above.
My honor is to try and my duty is to love.
People don't need to know my name.
If I've done any harm, then I'm to blame.
If I've helped someone, then I've helped me.
And I've opened up my eyes to see.

The Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law*.

*The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
Honest and fair,
Friendly and helpful,
Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do
Respect myself and others,
Respect authority,
Use resources wisely,
Make the world a better place,
And be a sister to every Girl Scout.
~ Washington, DC via conference ~ 
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