Randy Stapilus has a long history of solid journalism, well thought out editorial review and balance to his work.
His blog is followed by reporters, politicians and academics throughout the Pacific Northwest.
All that combines to make me thankful that he would consider an Op Ed piece I recently wrote for inclusion into his new format - one of my first pieces to be published as such.
It's called "Failure is and Option" and begs your reading and review should you have the time to do so.
Here it is.
Welcoming the first of occasional columns by Dennis Mansfield, a veteran of Idaho Republican politics. His book “Beautiful Nate” will be published next month.
America’s future is found in its children, the saying goes. We must center our lives on them. All children must be allowed to succeed. And if we truly love our children, such individualized formula will work, the saying continues. Each of us feels this to one degree or another. As parents, Americans have ensured the success of their progeny via a highly controlled environment and well executed plans.
What if we’re all wrong?
In my own case, as evangelicals my wife and I raised our oldest son, Nate, in an atmosphere of faith-based formulae. Cocooning is too strong a phrase, but not by much. And it didn’t work. In time, he became a drug addict; arrested several times, placed in jail and ultimately he went to prison. His drug of choice was oxycodone and other prescription opiates, until they ran out and then heroin became the suitable substitute.
The result for a family, steeped in formulaic fear-based living, is often that we’re surprised and shocked by the teen that emerges.
It should all work, right?
But again, what if we’re wrong? Apollo 13’s famed comment that “failure is not an option” may in fact be incorrect. Learning from failure changes all of our lives. Why would we exclude our own children from that truth?