Many people live in such horror of failure that they can never embark on any great enterprise. And this inability to get going in the first place is the worst kind of failure because there is truly no way out. You can cover up. You can hide behind a mask of exquisite sensibility. You can congratulate yourself on the fact that your standards are so high that no human effort could possibly match up to them. You can make yourself unpleasant to your contemporaries by becoming expert on their shortcomings. In the end, nothing is achieved by this timidity.
In his 2007 memoir, Terkel tells of a mother he interviewed in a housing project. When he played back the tape so her four kids could hear her voice, she listened intently and at one point said, "I never knew I felt that way."