There is ALWAYS “Try”! We discourage ourselves and our children immensely when we tell anyone that trying doesn’t count.
For those just emerging from a self-built cave somewhere, Yoda of Star Wars famously said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
We accomplish or we don’t accomplish, yes. And in order to accomplish anything, we have to commit ourselves 100% to whatever we’re doing. But without trying, nothing gets done: no skill is ever learned, no dream is ever turned into a goal, no target is ever reached, no life is ever changed.
Almost no one is going to grasp anything the first time they try it. Even the simplest task generally takes multiple attempts. So what of those tasks that are not so simple?
What if no one ever tried to walk? How many times does a baby fall, fail and try again? If no baby ever tried after the first time they failed, there would be no one around to teach and care for those who will never be able to walk through no fault of their own. Not to mention those struck down by tragedy or war (the greatest of all tragedies but occasionally necessary).
Some of us will not succeed at everything even though we try and try again. We simply don’t have the physical coordination or strength, or we lack the mental capacity to comprehend. But by golly, we’re going to try, and try again in many cases though not all. If a money-hungry riding stable puts you on a headstrong and stubborn horse who runs away with you, you’re probably not going to try horseback riding again. But that wasn’t your fault and you did NOT fail. You tried.
Others of us will not and should not try many things. If public speaking is not in our repertoire of skills, no one can make us add it, try as they might. We might eventually get used to it and even like it, but we don’t have to do it, don’t need the experience of making ourselves sick over it, and don’t learn from making fools of ourselves to keep someone else happy.
Certain individuals in our society should never have run for public office but they did. Some “failed” to get elected in spite of trying and that wasn’t their fault either. Some succeeded in getting elected, often with the help of dishonest people, and we all wish they hadn’t.
Are We Really Trying?
There is a difference between trying and pretending to try. When we don’t accomplish something that our parents or friends know perfectly well we can do, that’s not trying. If we don’t do something because we’re deathly afraid of it, that requires encouragement from special people who know what they’re doing. They may be our parents, friends or a professional. When we don’t do some assigned task that we don’t want to do in the first place, why bother with it? There’s no point in trying and we haven’t failed.
By the time we get out from under Mom and Dad’s roof, we will have learned the rules of society from them, along with basic survival skills. This does not include teaching us to “Take and only give back if you’re forced to.” Not at all.
If we haven’t learned what we need to know, we find out quickly. We are obligated then to find resources that teach dental hygiene or basic sewing repair skills or how to fill out a job application, whatever we are missing. And I’m the first to recognize that some homes teach nothing but fear due to abuse, ignorance or stupidity. Children and teens from those living conditions need extra special help and training.
Everyone has a different future that we are building, and most are not destined to become Jedi Masters. But we all fight the Darth Vaders of the world on a daily basis. Sometimes we win a skirmish and sometimes they do. The battle continues and all we can do is try and keep trying!