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Eurocentric Concepts Of Failure

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For ancient Greeks, "Fail" was to become ineffective or fall into ruin. The OT of the Bible uses "Fail" in a number of ways--e.g. not carrying out God's commands (Lev 26:15; Nu 15:22) as European men determined these to be; pertaining to ones flesh and heart (Ps 73:26); to be at an end; to be cut off; to pass over; to sink or relax; to be at a distance; or to stumble. In Middle English (1066-1500)--and particularly before 1200--"Fail" meant to cease to exist or function; to come to an end; to deceive; to not do or perform something; and being absent. “Failure's” 17th century senses were: “to fall short”; non-occurrence; and cessation of supply. Thus, the bulk of European definitions of "Failure" concern an inability to achieve mundane undertakings, whether by omission (not doing what ought to be done) or commission (doing what ought not to be done). All sorts of concepts were then applied to the meaning of "Fail" as, for example, a "Loser" in money matters. In European literature the topic of a Sense of Failure is discussed under Guilt; Shame; Sadness; Depression; and the like. Of particular importance to them is the mindset of an External Locus of Control (believing events are unrelated to their behavior and are unpredictable) which, if overemphasized, undermines ones sense of responsibility and commitment to change. Eventually, this will lead to experiences of failure in various aspects of ones life. Otherwise, I found almost nothing useful on the subject of "Failures." After getting one word per book in several of the hundreds of European books I reviewed, the best of their typically meaningless "definitions" of "Failure" are presented in order to point out their inadequacies compared to African concepts. To give some order, let us use the “SOBMER” Thinking Tool--an acronym for Source, Origin, Beginning, Middle, End, & Result. The Source (furnishing a first and continuous supply): be wanting; deceive; to beguile; omit; insufficiently equipped with; to cease from former plenty; to cheat; innate weakness. Origin (the point or place from which something starts or sets out from the Source): be defective; collapse; fizzle; not to continue to assist; to disappoint; not to measure up to requirements. Beginning (i.e. the first part, point, degree, or start of the Practical Process) includes: Default; losing game; breakdown; decline; loss of strength; giving way to an improper impulse (Weakness). Middle (the greatest activity of external actions): insufficient; lose power; be baffled; neglect; non-performance; miscarriage; negligence; abortion; lacking in; ineffectual; inefficient. End (where knowable external actions stop or wind down): fall or come up short; fiasco; crash; labor in vain; washout; botch; come to an end while still needed or expected; to be of no use when needed. Result (or the Effect): disappoint expectation; elude; deficiency; defectiveness; flash in the pan; wild-goose chase; bankruptcy; deterioration; the absence of results or unusable data; inadequate. "Loser Failure" has so much Fear connotation attached to it as to emit a powerful aura--an atmosphere that itself generates fear. Examples include losing the "conditional love" of others and being "isolated" from them. European leaders use fear of failure to control people and thereby gain an unfair advantage to acquire riches symbolizing "the Good Life." Their basic tool for making failure happen to others is the GUN (ranging from pistols to hydrogen bombs). See for yourself how this is played out in the Old West movies and television programs (like Gunsmoke) whereby it is: "Do it my way or die." See how they put their lives on the line to rob, steal, or cheat to win and make their ("Third World") victims fail. These all have the same theme of each European male considering himself a "little god" unaccountable to any one and being a rugged individualist. What is seen as "brutish programs" on television or in movies is not some fantasy but is the actual way Europeans are. Pause, for a moment, to think what "failures" European males would be if they did not have the GUN.

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