We make a big mistake to think that competetion is the only way to win. How about cooperating? Afterall humans are born loving, compassionate and competiton is only via socialisation.
The world has enough for everyone.
Apart from competing to gain a grade above the other kid, I competed for ego.
Things changed along the way when I learned that I was not the best. Then raising kids who were competing for grades against the other kids, I had to change. Two things remain in my head now.
“Mom, I was top of the class”. So then why did you get a 95? Kid says “I was the best one”.
The following I met one of the teachers eho read off the grades happily and the kid was happy. He then says “In my 27yrs teaching Maths, I have never given a kid 98.6%”. I looked at my kid and said “what happened to the other 1.4%?”.
The little one pipes in “I can beat that grade half asleep. I am doing a Maths test next week and will beat your grade”. The teacher is doing damage control “never mind family competition, you did well”.
Following week, the little one jumps off the school bus. “Listen everyone, I got 99.9% on my Maths test”. Older one “what happened to the 0.01%?”.
My editor kept calling me and telling me thatI was writing like a monkey. I cried because because I write okay. So one time I asked him why he was tough on me given that I write better than the others. Imagine my shock.
“Leah, you do write well but can do better. You are comparing yourself to writers who got their education in Uganda.compare yourself to you and improve daily. You sell yourself short when you compare yourself to others. I will not give you a break just because you think you write better”.
Nineteen months later, I no longer bother to compare my writing to others. For the teacher will jump in and say “you are not doing better than last week”. I have now learned to compete against myself. Improve me weekly. Or else, a teacher will tell me I am slacking off.
I learned that comparing me to others allows me to not give my best. The best teachers know when you are not giving the best of you.
Martha Leah Nangalama
I am a work in progress to get better than the me of last week. Competition is stupid.