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On the basis of failure

by Lacy Olivarez | April 14, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.

Everyone fails. It’s an understated fact that many hear but don’t fully accept. People do not realize that without failure, no one will ever know the full extent of their capabilities. Failure has many benefits.

JK Rowling had a commencement speech at Harvard University. She taught me so many things about her just because I read part of it. Her speech was about the benefits of failing; she portrayed her failure in this as well. Without her failure, she wouldn’t be where she is today: a millionaire, an author, and an influencer among many. Her failure turned her into a stronger woman. She even stated, “ … I could have learned no other way.”

Failure’s definition depends on who you ask. It could be something small or something little. Ultimately it’s our choice how we let failure treat us. It can defeat us, or we can vanquish it. Failure gives us choices we have never had the chance to make before, and that, to me, is a benefit.

I have also had the acquaintance of failure a time or two: I have been homeless twice in my life, I have known hunger, I was my own parent, I had no friends, I wanted to die. I was alone. I didn’t let it stop me, though. I found my way out and I have a family now as well as a boyfriend. I can be normal now… If it wasn’t for my failures, I would have never known myself and what I was capable of doing. As JK Rowling once said, “You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.”

Failure is mostly known as a disturbance in our life. We hate it and even ridicule people who fail. We expect so much from ourselves that we forget that we are only human. Failure is not a setback, though. If we notice, it brings us many benefits. I’d pity a person who’d never failed at all because they aren’t living.

Lacy Olivarez is a sophomore at Camden Fairview High School

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