jueves, 22 de octubre de 2015

"VERY GOOD LIVES: THE FRINGE BENEFITS OF FAILURE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF IMAGINATION" DE J.K. ROWLING (2008)


There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. 



I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy-tale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.



You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default. 
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.


So given a Time-Turner, I would tell my twenty-one-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone's total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes. 



... written by the Greek author Plutarch: "What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality".
That is an astonishing statement, and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It express, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people's lives simply by existing. 



If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existance but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to transform our world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.