“Jimmy?” said Grace
“Yes?” I said
“Brian’s feeling depressed.”
“What do you mean, depressed?”
“He failed the accounting exam”
Without saying a word, I went straight to his room. There he was, slumped in his chair. Brian looked up at me.
“Dad, I am so sorry. I let you down.”
Just as he was about to cry, I locked his eyes with mine, with such intensity that he couldn’t resist.
“You were never lucky. You were never meant to be lucky.”
He was shocked to hear those words for they were not words of consolation. He wanted what I would not give him. For that, I became defiant and determined to bring up his spirit.
I continued, “Understand that. You are the type who has to work hard to be fortunate. I know you. Those are not failures. They are shortcomings. You will always go through a pattern. Shortcomings, frustration, anger, pity.”
I straightened my back.
“Get up from that seat! Get up at this instant!”
He got up.
“I said, get up! Get up with dignity. Stand tall. Get up with the confidence to face the test. You have gone through this before. Get up! You will succeed. But you will have to go through a series of shortcomings. That is your fate. That is your pattern. You will succeed. I don’t believe so. I know so. You are my son. I have observed you from the time you were born, the time when you wanted something and you succeeded in getting it. You have the character, the determination. Never ever use the word ‘failure’. You have never failed because you never stopped trying. Failure is when you stop trying, when you give up. That was never you. Not getting what you want is a shortcoming. That’s how you work. That’s how you move closer to getting what you want, what you want to be.
I know you are hurting now. That’s good. It means you want it so bad. It means you will get it. You will get it.”
His chest raised, his back straightened.
His face relieved, regaining the determination he had momentarily lost.
I placed my hand on his shoulder. He got his consolation. At the right time.
“Thanks, Dad”, Brian said
I left his room with a smile.
I remembered him. I remembered the lessons he had taught me a long time ago.