using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : March 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2012 23 FAILURE IS ALL AROUND US THESE DAYS: a failing econ- omy, a failing environment, a failing war in Afghanistan, and a media that is failing to inform us in a nuanced, accurate way, traf- ficking instead in extremism, sensationalism, and reality-style schadenfreude. In some ways, we’re experiencing an out-and-out season of failure. “Yes we can” seems to have become “no we can’t.” Political commentators fill endless broadcast hours analyz- ing the failures of the Obama administration. The catch is that when the pundits turn the president into a punching bag, they also beat up what’s left of citizen motivation. We feel disappointed, disillusioned, and the one thing Obama never wanted us to feel—hopeless. I stopped believing in my own power to make a difference long before Obama was deified and then demoted. It hap- pened on November 3, 2004. Along with ten million others, I pro- tested the war in Iraq on February 15, 2003. I wrote op-ed pieces about George W. Bush’s cowboy leadership style and did voter registration leading up to the 2004 election, begging old ladies in Ohio You may fail to change the system, but it’s a good failure if you’ve made life a little kinder or more beautiful. Activist COURTNEY E. MARTIN on reclaiming failure as the mark of a dream worth having. and Pennsylvania to vote for John Kerry. None of it “worked.” A member of the generation baptized in “self-esteem education,” I realized I had been sold a bill of goods about my specialness. I wasn’t going to save the world. It wasn’t just the election that was over. It was my Ivy League-exacerbated entitlement, my naïve belief that good deeds are rewarded with positive outcomes, my conviction that—in the end—people do what’s right. This was an existential fault line for so many of my generation (loosely defined as those born in the eighties and nineties). We were faced, at an age when one should have the luxury of feeling naïve and invincible, with our own impotency. Rebecca Solnit writes in Hope in the Dark that “despair demands less of us, it’s more predictable, and, in a sad way, it’s safer.” I didn’t want to despair, but even more, I didn’t want to be safe. I was too young for that. I decided to look to my heartier, more resilient peers for inspiration. I would interview activists of my generation and find out how they were composing meaningful lives in a time of failure. ILLUSTRATIONSBYMISSYCHIMOVITZ Good Failure