This video is a really beautiful piece on the importance of failure, and as I watched it I couldn’t help but apply it to intentional community. Costica Bradatan, a professor and philosopher, argues that failure and learning from failure is what makes us human.
“it’s crucial that we always remain fragile, imperfect, incomplete, essentially erring creatures. That, in other words, there is always a space left, a gap in front of us between what we are and what we can be. It’s this gap, this absence, this missing part, that gives meaning to our lives but more importantly makes us who we are, what we are.”
This applies directly to intentional community because we are constantly reminded that we are human. It is easy to remember our downfalls and failures and be hard on ourselves. But we have to remember that we are all human, and we must extend grace to ourselves as well as to others. In intentional community, especially, we see the humanity in the people that we live with and we see the humanity in ourselves constantly. It seems like there is always something that we could be doing better, always something we’re dropping the ball on or letting other people down. But Bradatan argues that this is what makes us who we are.
“in our capacity to fail lies the root of any aspiration, any dreams, any utopias we have ever had. and without dreams and aspirations, we as a species would dry out”
So long as we don’t lose sight of our aspirations or dreams, our failure is one of the most important things to hang onto. But it is easy to lose sight of those dreams when you constantly see your failure. That is why intentional community is beautiful, we have people reminding us why we do what we do. If we attempted to live this way by ourselves, we (or I) would not be able to. Sometimes I need the people I love to remind me that I am good, that I am trying, and that I can do what I put my mind to. Intentional community is a unique setting in which everything is out on the table, and we are invested in each other regardless. We have the safe space to fail greatly, to take huge risks, and know that the people around us will support us.