Pass / fail

A colleague asked me how I was doing this morning. I think it was really a social reflex on his part. I’m pretty sure he didn’t want me to go into any sort of detail.

But in the moment, it occurred to me that “how are you doing” comes down, in essence, to a sort of pass / fail test. If you are here at all, alive on this planet, then you always have the possibility of doing well.

I told my colleague about these thoughts. “In essence,” I continued, “we are all trying to pass as long as possible, and to hold off that ultimate moment when we fail.” He agreed completely.

But then we realized that this is where the language breaks down. When you hear that somebody has passed, it means that they have actually failed.

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