AfroMemories and the gift of failure

I have to assume that there’s an evolutionary advantage to having a brain which keenly remembers the bourbon-soaked magic carpet ride, but not its puke-on-the shoes, please help me God aftermath. The same holds for romantic relationships. The dreamy, eye-gazing moment of transcendent intimacy is recalled with perfect clarity, while the sleepless nights on a bed after the quarrel is but a dim memory, my theory for this mental preference is that the brain is wired to push the organism toward pleasure away from pain. Its actually designed to cherish the good and discard the bad.

You can call me an anthropologist and a student of life. I like viewing and understanding things from the Neuro perspective. I love studying the mind and making conclusions therefrom. So let me run to November 2020, Musa sends me a WhatsApp text about a post I had pressed and the rest they say is history. I’m part of the amazing, emerging digital voices in Africa. Two weeks later, he sent a link about the opening of a WhatsApp group and it had rules,I remember none, must be the long terms and conditions we click on the agree button without taking time to read them. The group is created and days are marked for content, I recall that Tuesday was contexTuesday. The group was open on some days of the week, open I mean where everyone can write and post anything. There were days when the admins would only post. I think this is to reduce the many messages and spamming of the phone. I have had my watershed moment.I once used the word, girl child in a conversation and was barraged by the gender police(read feminists). I withdrew the word and we were good to go.

Ignorance is one thing I celebrate because it means an acknowledgement of the fact and a willingness to learn.

The Gift of failure is a book I read many years ago, it’s written by an educationist Jessica Lahey, In her book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, Lahey uses her own parenting experience and years of dealing with students to gently remind parents just how capable and resilient children really are when given the chance to succeed and, often, fail on their own. The thematic takeaway from the book was, it’s okay to fail. Lahey may have been writing for college students, but the concept cuts across. We need to fail so we can learn,I know many disagree with me but not everyone is supposed to agree. That is the beauty of ideas.

Last year,a call for a consultant came out to make a handbook for training the trainers regarding the East African Federation and the youth. Reading the background and TORs, this was something we could do as a team. Musa puts up a team and I remember sending him a message,’This is hard paper’. As if that wasn’t enough,he got down with covid. What was fate trying to say, we got back up, Rodgers took charge of coordinating the team.

Dear reader, I’m writing in my personal capacity. No other inference should be made on the team.It is possible, the rest of the team did a great job. What I am certain about is that I failed ,I sent him a message reading,’Thanks for Trusting us, but I failed you’ . Days later,I thought,why did I fail the team? Was I being unkind to self? The assignment got thinking about failure and the gift therein.

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