Eccleston George


Nigel George explains why he's not afraid to fail.

Posted by Eccleston George Team on August 13, 2016 at 10:40 AM

Photo. Julian Winslow

"Surely the idea of 'success' is completely misunderstood by the neolibral capitalist world we live in? It seems to me that the corporate barometer is and always has been measuring the wrong thing in terms of what success actually looks like. The culmination of our human endeavours have led to the creation of a horribly distorted version of reality, a status quo that the vast majority of our fellow humans accept as the norm. Make no mistake, the world that human beings has created isn't normal by any means, as a species we can make no claim to be a succesful one. For years I've being asking people a question - Since when is inteligence a benchmark for evolutionary success? I can answer that if you like! The answer is never because success on a planentary scale is measured by only one thing - longevity and we've not achieved that yet by a very long way!


I think the natural world gives us a wonderful example of what so called success really looks like, and, contrary to what most world leaders and corporations will tell you, in nature, real progress comes from real failure. The natural living world's pursuit for perfection is a clue to how it all works. It's a system based on iterations, constant changes informed by things that don't work as much as things that do. This is mainly because in nature no one living thing works perfectly forever and relatively speaking most don't work for long at all. I think the 'nature is perfect' story is a myth too by the way, if it where true evolution would be redundant because there'd be no need for anything to change. Perfection belongs to the realm of fairytales as far as I'm concerned.


Of course nature is fantastic at useful failing because through many many 'faliure cycles' important 'lessons are learned' and changes made accordingly. This is all very unlike the human corporate world we're living in today where we see nothing that suggests any systemic change will come out of the failed thing it has become. All we're seeing is lots of attempted bolstering of a broken system, much bailing out, lots of excuses, buck passing and most shockingly a very real desire to maintain the disfunctional status quo. Why would we want to maintain a system that is so detrimental to our future existence? I'm not over egging the pudding here by the way, we're on the brink of an environmental crisis born out of our corporate world that will make our global financial woes pale into utter insignificance. And yet here we are, to quote the brilliant environmentalist David Susuzki "We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone's arguing over where they're going to sit".

I'm not sure what can be done to rescue our precarious position on our planetary home, as a father I want to believe that there is still time to make some mistakes and that my children will have the good sense to shake off the bonds of risk aversion and mediocrity and learn where we have been goning wrong and make the changes needed to secure their future. Sadly my generation and the ones before us have not bought my children much time, whether or not there's enough time left to rack up some useful 'failure cycles' goodness only knows. Nature embraces failure and change because all it really 'wants' is to be balanced. If as a species we can understand that concept then perhaps we will start to emulate the very clever 400 million year old earthly system for survival and carry it forward as our own strategy for life and maybe even a new kind of socioeconomic strategy that's perfectly in tune with our planetary home. Because, any other way would mean a kind of failure there's no coming back from, climate breakdown, corporate mass suicide followed swifty by our own species extinction.

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