Having the Courage to Fail

February 2, 2013
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It seems to me like everyone has a dream. They have this longing inside of them to do something bigger for this world that is being overwhelmed with poverty, sickness, drugs, and negative influences on our society. As a young girl I would watch various people on television living out there dreams and I would often think, “Hey, why can’t I do that too?” As I would write down my dreams I eventually convinced myself that I should give it a shot. When you are a young teenager the idea to other teens that you are helping the world in your spare time doesn’t seem very popular. My courage was stronger than that though so I decided to try and put my dream into action.

My dream was to share love to pediatric cancer patients. With my head held high and my courage on my side, I contacted my pastor at the church I have attended since I was born, and we began to make out a plan of how I could do this. He told me many time, “Kayla have courage, and don’t be afraid to fail, just learn from the experience and move on.” So that is exactly what I did.

The closest pediatric hospital to where I live is in Louisville, Kentucky. So I contacted the chaplain of the pediatric cancer department in Kosair’s Children’s Hospital. I emailed him a long letter introducing myself and telling him my dream of helping these children that I had such a passion in my heart for. He was very exceptive of my proposal and offered to have a meeting with me on a date that worked for both of us. So me and my grandmother drove two hours to meet with him and when I arrived courageously, I was hoping for him to tell me that all of my ideas would work and that I could work with the children, although that answer was far from what I received.

When we began to talk about my dream he told me that everything I had proposed others were already doing, so there was no need for those things. My courage had been defeated. In my head I was thinking, “You knew this wouldn’t work, you have wasted all this time, and now you have gained nothing.” After I thought this I remembered what my pastor had told me. He had told me don’t let it get you down if your plan doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to fail! I held my head high thanking him for his time as I left with my courage dragging behind me. Why couldn’t I be like all those people on television I had dreamed of being? The ones who did great things in their life for the good of others? What I didn’t know is that even if my plan had failed, I learned more from this experience than I can begin to imagine!

As my grandmother and I headed back home on the two hour journey she began telling me what courage I had for a girl my age. She said, “Kayla most people don’t even try and the fact that you did try shows what a passion for others you have.” As I thought about what she said to me I realized that having courage also means being prepared to fail. When you fail get back up and show the world you’re not finished yet. Life has many things to get you down. These things will give the biggest lessons! When I realized my plan had failed I decided to begin thinking of other alternate options to help pediatric cancer patients.

So in conclusion, if I had to define someone who is courageous I would say that they are someone who is willing to do something out of the ordinary but also willing to fail and learn from their experience. Courage comes in many forms, whether it is having the courage to stand up for what you believe in, just as Rosa Parks did, or it may be just having the courage to stand up for a classmate that is constantly being bullied, but my form of courage came in trying something new and learning from my experience.

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TheSkyOwesMeRain This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 13, 2013 at 11:58 pm
Great message! I totally agree. 
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