Learning from Failure

269328704_85bf5cf73e_bOr at the very least, missed opportunities.  This piece considers the problem of change when it happens or fails to happen.  The community needs leaders yet it often fails to train/retrain people to endow them with new capacities, then wonders why so little capacity exists out there.  Many people choose the safe road, doing what they enjoy, then get bored and lament they failed to grow much, to remain stimulated and vital.  One of the great small moments of my life that still resonates took place a long time ago in the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota.  On a camping trip with my closest buddies, on the last day  of the trip we faced a choice between a long hard portage or taking our canoe over a waterfall on to a rapids that if we made it that far led to a beautiful stream closer to our destination.  I said in a moment of courage verging on foolhardiness, “Let’s do it.”  I’ll never forget going over that waterfall in that canoe (I breathed such a huge sigh of relief when we landed safely in the rapids that I dropped my canoe paddle in the water, but that’s another story:).  It stuck me with me to this day.  I guess FDR had it right.  The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Founder and Executive Director, Tzion; Teacher and Scholar, Gann Academy

Posted in Biography, Education, Jewish Education, Life, My View Tagged with: , ,
View or download my professional vita.
[David] has a brilliant mind; he is a scholar of great range and depth; he is a deeply devoted father and husband; his outstanding abilities at organization are manifest in the splendid Me'ah Program he created and fostered; he is a forceful and moving orator; he is a man of both compassion and commitment; he is a teacher who fortifies and inspires; he is a natural leader; and his contribution to the Jewish community is legendary.
Sacvan Bercovitch, Powell M. Cabot Research Professor of American Literature, Harvard University

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