Happy to be Ordinary

On the jeep today, I couldn’t help notice all the billboards and banners for schools lining the street: “WE MAKE FUTURE LEADERS.” “PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR SUCCESS!” Things like that.

That’s education for you. (Probably the product of delusional parents who think THEIR children are – no, SHOULD BE – the best of all.) While in school, there was such a fixation and attached glamour on being the best and the brightest, being better than all your classmates, and just being special. This was then egged on by comparisons from parents. “Oh, you’re so much better than so-and-so.” or “So-and-so scored better than you. You should work harder.”

And sometimes we go along with it, thinking that our parents would be less proud of us or we would be less successful in life if we didn’t get on the honors’ list, have a college degree (and a masters degree, and a PhD), or a bunch of initials to add to the end of our names, or to have some pretentious job title at some pretentious-sounding institution, or to make it to the A-list of the beautiful, rich and famous.

It leads to a lot of frustration. The wide array of intelligence, talent and beauty is not measurable by standard school tests. Because of failing or mediocre grades, a whole lot of smart and talented people begin to believe themselves stupid when it just so happens that their sort of gift is simply not the kind that schools are looking for.

And it doesn’t consider the fact that not all of us really want this deep inside. We end up chasing big dreams for the sake of them, when they won’t really make us happy.

For all you want to train us to be leaders, some of us simply just want to be followers.

For all you want us to be special and successful, some of us are happier being ordinary people.


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