There’s a very popular stereotype about the Asian ethnicity in particular, “You better get an A, or your parents might disown you.” And frankly, the truth of that statement cannot be denied.
Sitting in class for my lecture on the hierarchy of needs, as the teacher explained the need for self-esteem, and pointed out its relation to our need for accomplishment and success, and how our grades serve to make us more confident in ourselves, how they make our future and lead to triumph, I couldn’t help my mind reflecting on the thought; do these grades, make Us, or do We, make them?
Its a simple thought, really, but it blows my mind. People dedicate their whole lives to their education, sacrificing things like money, time and health to name a few and yet, a single setback or ‘failure’ along the way just eliminates all the effort, along with their distinctive worth? But on the contrary, people who don’t take education seriously and still somehow manage to gather a few A’s on their report cards, are crowned the real triumphant ones? How does this whole process work, of determining an individual’s net worth in the currency of A’s and B’s?
How do we classify the smart, from the non-smart? If a student fails his art or music class, its because he ‘doesn’t have the aptitude’ for it, but if that same student fails his maths class, he’s a disappointment, and a not too bright one at that.
In the general view of things, we make our grades and we decide our degrees, our fields of work, our future. We are the pioneers of the days to come and success to yield, but is it really so? Because if I were to fail this semester or drop out of school, or even, go for a ‘normal’ subject instead of a ‘good’ one — for myself, because of my own capabilities and preferences, it would be the most shameful thing? It is as if you’re only valuable till you have a valuable certificate in your hands, but why is that so? When did the world shift from caring, to only caring about the outwardly benefit of things? When did the student working day and night to meet his parents’, teachers’, everyone’s standards, lend the remote of his worth over to the achievement he was working for?
The tables have turned; the significance of gaining knowledge has been replaced with getting the best certification, and we continue to run this wild goose chase.
Every other day you hear every other person say the world has turned tangible, but few try to focus on the aspect of ‘why’, Why has it become corporeal, why is it tangible?
To really understand something is to be liberated from it, however all we seem to be liberated from anymore is if I get to boast the most, about the most, or not, and so all we can understand is the economy of materialistic education, where everything but the rise and fall of the most popular is ignored. A survival of the fittest, if you may. And though this whole ordeal might appear to be excusable, it is in fact not, because it is okay to lose sweat, ruin your clothes and shoes, or to get a wound or two running a race, but it is never okay to disregard a lost limb, or a casualty even, in the run for gold in the end.