But apparently this is not the norm for most Icelanders, according to Eric Weiner in “The Geography of Bliss”. Not only are the people of Iceland aren’t anxious about failure, they admire it as a reminder they aren’t afraid to try something. A rejected manuscript is better than no manuscript submitted. Young people developing a garage band are free to develop their skills without expecting early success. This attitude leads to a country full of very creative people.
By tweaking our thinking, can we also transform our pain and embarrassment into something worth while?
In Scriptures the Apostle Paul gives listeners in the Port City of Corinth thoughtful suggestions as he lays out expectations about being followers of Christ. Hang loose because there’s a difference between what faith-filled followers do and how the world perceives their actions. Don’t aspire after wealth or power. Don’t think yourself superior and stand in judgement over others. Others may treat you like garbage because they think you are foolish. Don’t fear! Be a “fool for Christ’s sake”. The spirit of love that you experience by practising this “foolishness” will enrich your life and the lives of others.
In today’s language – instead of being fearful of being judged by others, or fearing judgement of ourselves, venture forth with new dreams and greater expectations. In a grasping world, we can be advocates for contentment. In a judging world, we can transform blows to acts of kindness. In a world devoid of hope, point to the sunrise of a new day.
Fred Kaan’s hymn says “Make us afraid of the thoughts that delay, / faithful in all the affairs of today. / Keep us, O God, from playing it safe;/ thank you for now is the time of our life.”