Should you ever wish for failure? How about saying to someone, “I want you to fail!” Doesn’t that seem like an inappropriate statement to make? Isn’t it always undesirable to wish for failure?
OK, perhaps not! If you heard it in some sporting event and the person who stated it was rooting for the other team, then wanting them to fail seems somewhat appropriate. I’m sure there are other situations, when saying the words, “I want you to fail,” is not too bad. But, suppose someone said it to you, and both of you were on the same team? Perhaps both of you are part of an organization where your work could help or hurt the organization? Wishing for failure in that situation just doesn’t seem appropriate to me.
Well, enough what-ifs. In January of 2009, Rush Limbaugh said, “I want you to fail” to President Obama. Actually, those weren’t his exact words. What he said was: “I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: ‘Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.’ Somebody’s gotta say it.” Later on in the same transcript, he said, “I hope he fails.”
The Limbaugh statement is an example, other than sports, of saying “I want you to fail,” that illustrates how we can make such statements. It has been over a year and a half since he made the statement and perhaps, Limbaugh is getting his wish. According to many, Obama is failing. His approval rating is low and much is now being written about it. But, for the rest of this post, let’s discuss the negatives and positives, if any, of using “I want you to fail,” when all concerned are working toward the same goal.
First, let’s establish what is meant by the word “fail or failure.” Using my dictionary, and considering how the word is used above, an appropriate definition is: “be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal.”
Why would we want someone to fail when competition is not involved? I don’t know – do you?
There are at least three kinds of failure. There is failure to anticipate, failure to perceive and failure to carry out a task. I suppose it is the latter kind of failure to which Limbaugh was referring.
When we wish others to fail, while carrying out a task, are we being egocentric? In other words, are we implying that “it’s all about me?”
As you can probably tell by now, I am struggling with this concept of wanting others to fail. In my own mind and heart, I can’t seem to find a justification for wishing someone to fail. Of course, as stated above, I am excluding friendly sports competition, where there is a winner and a loser.
Our current recession and President Obama’s efforts to help end it, should not, in my opinion, be viewed as some competition. If he somehow is able to lead us out of this recession, then wouldn’t we all, including Mr. Limbaugh, benefit from his efforts? No, wait, maybe he wouldn’t, since he is getting more publicity for wishing the president to fail, then wishing him to succeed. Ah, maybe I have discovered why someone would wish for another to fail.
So, what do I think is appropriate for Rush Limbaugh to say instead of, “I want you to fail?” Considering he is a part of our country, where, if President Obama does fails, then our country will most likely suffer, I would hope for something more supportive yet still reflecting his ideas. For example, “I, Rush Limbaugh, have a better idea than President Obama. I hope the president succeeds, but if he wants a better way to lead our country out of this recession, then here it is…..“
If the President uses this idea, then he, Limbaugh, could take credit for it; if the President didn’t use it and our recession worsened, Limbaugh is no worse for it. It seems to be a “no-lose” situation for Rush Limbaugh, and, a positive approach overall. Just my thoughts!
What do you think?