A couple of days ago a young girl took her own life because she got two B’s for her O Level examination. How much did she feel like a failure that she couldn’t see beyond high school?
Growing up in an Asian culture, I’ve seen the effects on such expectation and pressure to get “All A’s”. I was and am still really blessed to have parents who gave me space to fail and grow yet encouraged me to give my best. But in school at 15, I lived in a time I was told by teachers that Science stream meant you had a brighter future and Art students would have to take Mass Comm and be insecure emotionally and financially for the rest of their lives.
When I decided to pursue International Business studies in University my aunt had this godawful look on her face, *insert Indian accent here* “Sumi! You’re NOT studying to be a doctor?! But you’re so smart!”
Benefit of the doubt, she had my best interest and marriage proposal at heart. While motivating someone to be the best they can be is one thing, making failure to reach those standards something to be ashamed about is another.
Many times we devalue the significance of failing. The man who has never failed is the man who has never tried. In Christianity, we talk a lot about victory in Christ which is good and obviously biblical.
Yes, we have complete victory in Christ. Yes, He nailed our defeat on the cross. Yes, He bore our C’s and D’s and L,M,N,O, P’s.
But the reality is there is what seems like a defeat on some days. Not every Christian student gets the fully funded non-bonded government scholarship to study aeronautical science in the U.S. Not every Christian is employed in their dream job. Not every Christian marries a surgeon and has three well-behaved kids by the time she’s 32 and still looks like she’s 25.
I want to succeed. But I want God to define my success. Because if I let the world define it I would be on that ledge too.
What is the measure of success? If it’s money then even Jesus failed because the son of Man had no place to lay His head.
Whatever the definition of my success is, there has always been times I’ve not met even my own expectations.
Maturity is not in never failing or failing less but learning to apply God’s grace as a remedy.
Failure gives us a gift; perspective.
I want to hug and tell every student who’s standing on the ledge;
Everyone fails. Some people handle it better than others, some cover up better than others.
Results are not directly proportionate to God’s pleasure. Sure it’ll bring you down for a bit but don’t ever let rejection or failure define you because knowing this would be part of your walk God chose you for His purpose simply because your destiny is rooted in Him, not circumstances.
Even young men grow weary and fall exhausted, but trust in the Lord and He will show you the right way.
Get up off that ledge and let’s try again tomorrow :3
Thinking of: Third Eye Blind’s Jumper, Unfriended, Asian dad meme and how it’s already August!