Social networking sites getting bombarded with boastful statuses about ranks and marks, relatives peeking in more than peers congratulating, families getting hysterical over rising competition in top colleges, coaching classes availing new levels of advertising to woo in parents of prospective students and finally our very next-door Sharma Ji’s son is throwing those evil glances that families have been dreading over centuries. So what is this race all about – A marathon in order to burger in children for catching up to societal expectations or simply a fillip directing towards a desired career? And if this marathon makes sense at all, what should the average students line up for? Because apparently nobody recognizes those who are well below the ninety percent-ees’ belt. A lot of parents get mushy over their ancient system of marking when a simple first division meant ‘ladka heera hai’ (this boy is a diamond – a common phrase used to describe a good student in a metaphorical way). Irrespective of the fact that many state boards have shed off their conservativeness while checking copies, yet it is possible to think average scorers exist and they have the right to a respectful and proper life in future as well, let alone receiving much-deserved appreciation for their performance. Amidst the run for success, is it still feasible to discuss whether we must prepare the future of India for failure as well; or on the existence of probability of the average getting to excel in future too?
The problem is the proliferation of overwhelming competition and contemplation of failure as a taboo in our society. What distresses us intensely is the way in which we compare ourselves with that which is cooking in someone else’s pot. A fair part of the population believes competition must be seen as a variable used against others rather than with our previous selves. This is where everything goes wrong. As much as self-belief seems to get eroded in people, one more equally important influence is the inability to accept failure as not just a mishap but another cloak of motivation. Board marks or that obtained in any examination solely determines the effort one puts on the subjects and are not accountable in distinguishing one’s future prospects. So if a student scores average, that is not the end of the world and surely they are still prone to a plethora of opportunities. Hard work and dedication can only bring fruitful results but it shall never measure one’s abilities. A B.Com aspirant today might slip an opportunity to get into one of the top colleges because of his low marks but twenty years down the line the same person could turn out his passion for writing into an awarding position. It is sad that we barely have the patience of exploring this very truth.
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This article is an initiative to interact with all the parents, teachers and children out there. Don’t walk with the crowd for the sake of walking. I have individual messages for each.
Your disappointment is reasonable until you vent out the frustration on your children without really being empathetic to their story. The biggest atrocity lies in chopping off the wings of your children which could make them fly. Talk to them for a better understanding. Uplift their already stooped confidence to a new high and make them believe in you as you trust in them.
The first and most important responsibility of a teacher is to create good human beings. Let students know they’re not studying for passing internals but for creating a way of life for themselves and the generations to come. A school performs its functions in true sense when it can encourage a student to deal with both failure and success.
Give yourself the freedom to stand out and to see what you are. Exams are a result of the hard work you put in and when that is not according to your expectations it simply means more hard work is needed. This must be accepted with a new vigor towards working out best for your future instead of sulking by looking at others’ performances. Let bygones be bygones and start afresh. There is no hard and fast rule that you should pursue only what your parents’ want or what most of the ‘toppers’ are doing. If you have an affinity towards a different field, try and convince your parents in such a way that your passion reflects.
After all, this world is a big stage for the performers hidden in us. We all are alive but only those really live who have the gift of listening to their inner voices. It is our duty to fuel up the passion within us; to seek the truth and reach where we command our destiny to.