An Oft Used quote from Shakespeare: "To Thine Own Self be True"
Today’s world bombards us from all sides, showing us the way to dress—to do our hair—what music we should listen to. If you do not go along with what is appropriate for your age group, you appear to be an outsider, a misfit.
It starts right out of the crib with parents being aware of specific expectations for their child. They read of methods to improve their child’s intellect, their learning ability. Some start to groom their child to be the person they wished they had become instead of who they ended up being.
When any individual is forced, whether with good intentions or not, to be someone other than whom they really are, that child misses out learning what their own special skills and abilities are.
This pressure continues through elementary school, on up to high school and beyond. There seems to be a need in the world today, to become an overachiever. To be the best athlete, have the top grades are expectations and goals that bring a feeling of being over-whelmed. It does not matter if these goals are self-imposed or through another.
When the individual falls short, even if they had given their all, it damages their self-esteem. Their image in the eyes of the one who had the expectations is tarnished… this is even if it was their own. It is seen as a ‘failure.’ What is forgotten here, is the effort and what difficulties might have needed to be overcome. Effort must count, it must be included in the final judgment.
A personal experience will be added here. I went to a school with high standards. I tried my best, but there were certain subjects that I found difficult, one was Latin. When grades were given out, we were all assembled in the cafeteria and one or two individuals were called to stand and their grades were read aloud. One fateful time, I was chosen.Continued on the next page