After writing his end of year exams, my son came home excited, and announced that he had received his science result back .
After finding out the result l expressed my concern as a parent and encouraged him to do better. This immediately wiped the look of excitement off his face which was replaced by a look of surprise! “But mum”, he argued, “l did better than all my friends”. I could tell by the look of satisfaction on his face that he thought this would impress me?
“I do not think that’s necessarily true”, l replied earnestly. At which point my son looked very defensive because he thought l was accusing him of lying.
I wasn’t and l proceeded to explain.
I have learnt that, it’s impossible to judge how people are doing in their lives, if they haven’t shared their goals and aspirations with us, l informed my son. I made him aware that, although his friends scored less than him, we will never know if they failed or not! As we do not know what the vision for their life is.
Friends could be pursuing other interests outside the classroom such as sports, singing or playing instruments etc. They could be excelling in their chosen fields outside the classroom and scoring low marks on their school-work. It might simply mean that academic performance, may not be on top of their priorities. If that is the situation then, technically, your friends are achieving their goals, even when you assume otherwise.
Life is not about comparing yourself to others. We should never resort to taking comfort in other people’s failures or conclude that how other people perform has anything to do with us. This lowers our standards, we miss our goals and encounter a failed event! Although, we can learn lessons and move on.
Emphasis should be placed on always formulating our own goals based on what we are good at and what we like. Then focusing on that, no matter how our friends are performing or how they might perceive us. It’s about accomplishing the goals and vision we have for our lives. We aim to do better because of the kind of individuals we want to become. Our friends are never part of the equation when it comes to personal matters concerning our life!