Just for Dads ~ January 2022

by Ward Williams
Executive director, Vineyard Family Services

photo by Photograph by Tim Mossholder/Upsplash

In Sweden, there was once a Museum of Failure showcasing products that have been anything but successful. (The permanent location is now closed, and the museum is currently a traveling exhibit; museumoffailure.com.) 

Many of these items are from ultra-successful corporations who have rolled out new ideas outside their areas of expertise and mission, such as Colgate’s beef lasagna. As American consumers, we are always on the search for new and improved. According to an article by Nichole Martins Fereria featured on Oberlo.com, the 15 best new products of the year included USB hidden cameras, rainbow flatware, bio magnetic ear stickers for weight loss, hair removal epilator, and mini eye massage device. 

It is hard for me to believe any of these items are ever needed, much less the best products invented for the year. Who measures if Tide really cleans better than it did in any of its other hundred versions of new and improved? Do you think Tide really washes better than it did 10 years ago?  How do I know if my dog is really enjoying the “better” version of its dog food? Who decides if something really has improved? 

The beginning of the year sets off a wave of self-improvement goals and promises. Gym memberships are up, the workout clothes are moved to the front of department stores, new commitments are made to relationships, healthy food is purchased, credit cards are destroyed, and goals are set for the new and improved you. New Year’s resolutions mainly involve two different categories:  One is things to quit doing, and the other is things to start doing. 

As we look into what to quit doing and what to start doing, we need to remember that, yes there is value in searching for new ways of doing things, but this doesn’t necessarily mean we give up the time-tested truth and values that have worked for generations. Just because it didn’t work last year doesn’t mean that you won’t be successful this year. For example, everyone said Jim Harbaugh, the football coach at the University of Michigan, had lost his touch and should be fired. He was able to turn things around this year and finished the 2021 season as the Big 10 conference champion. 

Sometimes, success is just sticking with things a little longer. Galatians 6:9 says: “Let’s us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Keep pressing on even when it seems that your ideas have entered the failure museum.


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