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On taking failure personally

…the idea that a person could be ‘a failure’ had sprung directly from the growth of entrepreneurial capitalism … One crucial development … was the emergence of credit rating agencies, whose role was to sit in judgment upon individuals seeking loans from banks, helping the banks determine the risk they would be taking by making the loan. In a society increasingly dominated by business, a bad credit rating could all too easily come to be seen as a verdict condemning a whole person – and it is from the language of credit rating … that we take several modern idioms for describing someone’s moral worth, such as ‘good-for-nothing’ and ‘first-rate’.

-Oliver Burkeman’s The Antidote, pg. 198 (emphases and quotations author’s)

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