Comment: A Life without Experiencing Failure? | Knutsford Times

Comment: A Life without Experiencing Failure?

By on February 17, 2009

Many of you will have read this week’s national paper headlines revealing a new drug which although in its developing stages, has the potential to erase painful memories.

The scientists involved claim it could help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder and those who have been affected by bad experiences and recurrent memories.

The theory is that it could eradicate memories of traumatic events that happened years ago. It might also help patients overcome phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and even sexual hang-ups. Dr Kindt states: “the problem is the memories remain and people often relapse.’

It appears to be a major milestone in medical history, but in reality the breakthrough raises ethical and moral debate about essentially what gives the human race its ability to learn and develop. Psychologists argue that by preventing those who take it from learning from their mistakes, it has a knock on effect with society as a whole.

Lecturer in medical ethics at the University of London, Dr Daniel Sokol said that: “It may perhaps be beneficial…. but before eradicating memories, we must reflect on the knock-on effects that this will have on individuals, society and our sense of humanity”. Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental-health charity Mind, said the “fundamentally pharmacological’ approach to problems such as phobias and anxiety” concerned him.

I myself am concerned as I think it is a sign of where society as a whole is in danger of heading in the 21st Century. Sports Day in many schools now has changed with races and events completed as teams, meaning there are no losers and everyone is a winner. In one respect, this ideal is great as it encourages communication, sharing and working together to achieve a common goal. If real life had this Utopian outlook I would be a big fan of it, but unfortunately it isn’t and it makes me wonder if we are missing out on developing valuable life lessons at early and adolescent ages for the next generation.

As we all will know, there are things which we win and things which we lose. This is how we shape ourselves as people and how we accept and deal with various situations in our lives. An example would be failure to get a job, failure to get into University or the death of a family member. By having these bad experiences we learn that we can try again and then try a different approach next time. From my own personal experience Sports Day was the occasion where the non- academics could shine. That’s one thing that I also think should be encouraged as I know how important this is to prepare you for the highly competitive world that we live in.

I think there are times when we must make decisions as to whether just because we can do something, should we choose to actually go ahead and do it or is it best to leave things alone?

ED: why not register and comment on this article to draw the subject into a live debate?

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