Failure and the Need to Tackle its Challenge

Failure must be viewed as any significant compromise of the full functioning of a system. The compromise doesn't have to be absolute to merit being called a failure. Any compromise that takes the level of function below any perceived 'minimum passable grade' should be called a failure.

I have noticed that Pakistanis have a general unwillingness to improve on a failed function. Rather, they treat it as a given conditionality. In short, they believe and give the impression that such reduced level of function is in fact the 'natural' level of functionality.

Firstly, a prevelant definition of failure equates it with total disaster and loss of all function. Hence, a dilapidated school education system would still not be deemed 'failed' until it completely stops imparting services.

Second is perhaps a natural response to any challenge. When we face a challenge, we are facing a choice between either tackling it, or mending our ways and complying. Usually, we would tackle when we think that the challenge is surmountable, that we are strong, and that the complications of a failed attempts are small. If the challenges is too big to tackle, or if we are not strong enough, or if we deem tackling too risky, we mend our ways and comply.

Failure looms as a challenge in front of us all. However, probably since we are so demoralized, we tend to overly weigh factors that favor compliance. So we have developed our own science of profitable mending of our ways so as to not tackle the challenge.

The government functionaries are a good example. They pose several challenges including inefficiency,  cumbersome processes,  and lack of modernity. But there are also innovative ways of hoodwinkng this creaking system, with options including political pressure, corruption, shuffling personnel and using archiac laws. In the end, someone who is willing enough will get things done, but the larger willingness on part of the wider public to make the process smoother remains missing. This chronic deficiency of a critical element -the larger desire to avoid failure -remains a key detriment to the progress of a genuinely Pakistani development culture. 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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