This post has been contributed by Venkatesh Mahadevan.
My son Ankush, “cooldude” as he likes to be called, just appeared for his Board Exams and got his results. India has several seasons, the ones we know are Monsoon (depending on which city you live in), Summer, Winter ,etc. But “Result(s)” season is one such season and probably the only season that affects practically all of India at the same time…! Households across the country are generally in 2 moods during this season.
Mood 1 The first mood is of JOY and Excitement because of very high percentage marks, and the joyous mood is more to show off in the neighbourhood and even more exciting, when this is the main point of discussion in social gatherings.
Mood 2 The second mood goes by the name of GRIEF or Disappointment when your ward has not done very well (very well to read as 90%+)…. But the second more important reason which gives rise to a lot of prevailing emotions or “Bhaavaas” as a BharataNatyam dancer may put it, is for the fact that your son’s friends, your friend’s son, your neighbours’ daughter, your colleagues child etc…have scored more than your child. My household is no exception, but what is beautiful is the fact that when my son got his results, he took one look at it and said “Dad, I am happy but would have been a little more if I had scored more in Science”.
Also Read : The Art of Listening to your Child
End of discussion…. For the record, my son neither topped the school, nor his class, and I don’t think the neighbourhood either. But, it did not matter to him that several of his friends or peers in different categories had scored more than he had. A couple of our friends’ children had scored more, one of our cousins is still awaiting his results at the time of this going to press, but for sure he will also score more… . All he had, for his friends & peers and his acquaintances, who scored more, was only Happiness and hearty congratulations! I salute this trait in him and in others like him. Naturally, feelings of comparison abound, whether we are in the Academic Field, Corporate world, or our own social community.
My humble request to the young generation (makes me suddenly feel older) is to look at yourself or oneself in your space and draw comparisons to yourself only. Please do not confuse Comparison to Competition. While the former evokes feeling of jealousy and not so desirable emotions, the other is a healthy and good feeling to harbor. My parting request to the competent-Stressed out parent community is to start enjoying the fruits of your child’s labour in its sole entirety. Teach them to be successful, not only by the weightage of their 10th standard marks or how much more they have scored than others, but by the weightage of their value system. Celebrate the half century, as much as you would, a century !!!!!
Also Read : How to be your Child’s Student