These things are all different from each other:
- Trying to do a good thing and succeeding
- Trying to do a good thing and mostly succeeding, but with significant flaws that need to be talked about
- Trying to do a good thing and failing badly
- Doing something genuinely controversial (that is, a thing that some people think is really good, and some people think is really bad, for reasons that cannot be reduced to privilege/ignorance)
- Pretending to try to do a good thing, but putting in so little effort that a fail is inevitable
- Refusing to try at all
Not all fails are the same kind of fail. Small fails matter and need to be talked about, too. But sometimes there is a temptation to treat all fails as equally awful (I feel tempted towards this in some of my reviews, at least – maybe it’s just me) and I think we lose something important when we do that.
I want to talk about this, but I’m having trouble articulating the reasons why I want to talk about it, or even what my thoughts are.