Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

Failure is thought to demolish everything you are, but in truth is vital to self-realization and self-acceptance. I take pride in my ability to fail: to crash and burn, but to come out healed and ready. Yet in all my life I have never once been chastised for failure. My father would never reprimand me for my mistakes, but instead enforce meditation and reflection. Never did a scolding begin with “I’m disappointed” or “you’re in trouble,” but instead with a more thoughtful “go think about your actions, and consider what they say about you as a person.” Even as a child, I understood the mammoth weight of this reflection, and after an hour or so hiding out in a pillow fort, in the quiet confines of my own conscience, I would come out and apologize not only to my father but also to myself. I would emerge stronger, my failure having been an awakening force, inspiring retrospection and improvement. My father would look at me with nothing but pride, and would offer me a very Thomas Wayne-esque “Why do we fall, Rosh?”

Today, this saying underpins my life. With failure potentially at every corner and with every memory a potential occasion for regret, I choose instead to reflect, to improve. I simply ask myself, “Why do you fall, Rosh?”...

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