Depressed after failing an exam, a teenager kills himself. Class 12 student kills herself even after scoring 85% in her public exams. How often do we read these news alerts that send a chill to our spine? These are not some random incidents, it’s a reflection of the pressure these kids were under.
Imagine you are 60, you just retired and you are sitting on your armchair, sipping your morning coffee, reading your newspaper. You let your mind loose start thinking about your life. What would think of the time you spent with your children as they grew up? Nights your spent taking care of an ailing parent? Long walks down the hills during family vacations in the alps? Or would you think about the marks you scored in you school/ college exams or the number of times you exceeded your sales quota at an office? Chances are that most of us will pick the former. Yet we not just continue to be driven by our competitiveness to stay on the top, we also forget to teach our children that the winner doesn’t really take it all.
The culture of “excellence” we set for our children at school is making them bothered more about the “means” than the “end”. Instead of enjoying their childhood, you seem walking with dropped shoulders worrying about the marks they need to score. A preteen is more worried about their careers than ever before. Yes, it is good that they have some focus but do they also know that our careers should merely be the means to help us live out lives the way we want to? In our pursuits for excellence at school, and in our workplaces too, we have failed to realize what the real living is.
I tend to believe excellence cannot be generated but only nurtured. Not just our children but we all need to hit the breaks to dream and stop judging life early. The real measure of one’s success should only be the love & legacy he leaves behind as the last nail in his coffin is hit.