Eugene Burger, The Gift of Failure.

Dal sito di Jeff Mcbride (la pagina dell’articolo http://blog.mcbridemagic.com/the-gift-of-failure/) una interessante riflessione sugli errori da parte del maestro Eugene Burger (il sito di Burger si chiama Barba Magica http://www.magicbeard.com). Mi sono permesso di tradurre liberamente alcuni passaggi fondamentali per chi non masticasse l’inglese.

eugene burgerTHE GIFT OF FAILURE By EUGENE BURGER

For the past several years, the task of writing an October Museletter has fallen upon me. I think this is partly because images of Halloween goblins are on the same wavelength as my continuing fascination with things spooky and mysterious. And so it has been with a certain delight that I have accepted the task of writing the October contribution. After all, I do love the Halloween season!

But this year my thoughts are moving in a different direction. I am not thinking so much about things mysterious. Instead, I have been reflecting on much more, shall we say, “practical” matters. These thoughts spring from my work as a teacher and also from my great interest in the teaching process itself.

A thought has been in my mind for some time now. It surfaces at some point almost every day and, when it does, I try to understand it once more. I find that my understanding changes and even grows at times. Here is the thought that has been echoing in my mind:

Sometimes the greatest gift of all is failure. (Qualche volta il più grande dono e’ il fallimento)

Among other things, I have been thinking about how much time is spent in the teacher-student relationship with the teacher helping the student deal with failure—and, more specifically, the fear of failure. The fear of failure can be crippling and even paralyzing, whereas failure itself can be an important way to learn and grow. It’s an important difference. Perhaps to see this, to see it clearly and deeply so that the very seeing is action, requires personal courage. For fear can be met only with courage.

Molto tempo speso nella relazione Insegnante-Studente e’ utilizzata per aiutare gli studenti a gestire gli errori ed a non averne paura. E la paura e’ contrapposta solo dal coraggio.

Then, another voice in my head rises up and says, “Wait a minute, Eugene, nobody wants tofail! Including you! So, if failure is a gift, it is a pretty weird gift. In fact, if you don’t mind, it’s a gift that I would just as well refuse to accept! Thanks anyway!”

Ma nessuno vuole fallire, quindi il fallimento e’ un dono che nessuno vuole ricevere.

Yes, I hear that voice, which is also my voice. Yet when I look at this closely, I see that failure can be a gift—perhaps, the greatest gift of all. Here is what I mean: first, when I fail (in the performance of a magic effect, for example), I may be inspired to work harder, to go back and fix the problem, and to move on. Learning from failure might be called “learning by fire.” And it works.

Però se ci si pensa bene, il fallimento può essere un dono, un dono che ci sprona a studiare di più, a lavorare meglio per risolvere i problemi, secondo il famoso detto “sbagliando si impara”.

Second, failure may bring me new insights, new ideas that had previously never entered my mind. Some of my most creative thoughts have been generated by having something go terribly wrong during a performance.

Il fallimento puo’ anche dare stimoli per vedere le cose in una prospettiva diversa, e spesso un terribile fallimento ha scatenato in Burger la sua creatività.

Third, failure can be the gift that tells us to stop, to give up on a particular performance piece, to remove it from our show and stop performing it. The end. It’s over. Period.

Infine, il fallimento puo’ essere quel segnale che ci dice Stop! Che ci consiglia di smettere di fare un certo effetto davanti ad un pubblico.

Over the years, there have been many times when I have worked on a piece of magic for a very long time (sometimes on and off for years) and then finally, after repeated failure, I just gave up.

Sometimes, I think the best thing to do is to give up, to stop and spend my limited time working on a piece of magic that is within my reach. As Alan Watts put it so well, “When you get the message, hang up the phone.”

Qualche volta la miglior cosa da fare e smettere di investire il proprio tempo in una cosa che non e’ alla nostra portata. Come sintetizza Alan Watts, “una volta ricevuto il messaggio, riaggancia il telefono”.

So I wonder, isn’t failure the greatest gift of all?

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