Posted by: Andrew G | February 24, 2010

Failure and Imagination

I thought today would be a good day for a video. The themes for today are failure and imagination. I’ve struggled to think up a way to relate this to my usual topics, but I think J.K Rowling does a much better job at putting it all together.

Altogether, it’s about 20 minutes long. Here are some of the ideas and highlights:

The benefits of failure

The importance of imagination

Do not blame your parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date for blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction.

Poverty is not an ennobling experience.

Human beings can learn without having experienced — something potentially unique about us.

Rowling’s work for Amnesty International before entering upon her published writing career gave her a perspective on how we can help one another even when living very distanced lives.

We touch other people’s lives just by existing.

You can find the text here.



  1. Andrew: There isn’t much to argue about with J.K.Rowling’s address. She is quite impressive and I thought her speech to the Harvard Convocation was certainly appropriate to the occasion. Failure and Imagination can be quite creative in that it challenges and changes our view of the world and the reality of our lives. We should always have a great fear for arogances, ignorance and illiteracy. Education doesn’t overcome all our weaknesses but it does help us to be ( I would Hope) more imaginative and more willing to explore greater understanding of ourselves and others. Rowling’s was right on and certainly a timely message for the graduates and all heard or now read it.

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