So the big news (this week) is the college admission story. NPR covered it quite succinctly: College Admissions Scandal. This is a serious story and will have serious ramifications for the adults involved and even potentially their children. And while I don't want to downplay what happened, I feel that this is just part of a bigger problem. Here and now, we all think we (or our children) need to be THE BEST.
There is NOTHING wrong with doing your best. There is nothing wrong with being the best YOU. There IS something wrong with this constant pressure of being THE BEST. Of being the top of the top; not just in one thing but in everything. While there may be some extremely talented individuals out there that can be the top of their class or Olympic gold medalists or the star of the show; the fact is that most of us aren't.
While I am not encouraging anyone not to put their all into something, why is there shame in being just ok? Why can't we be proud that our child is in the chorus of the musical instead of being the star? Why aren't we happy that our child got into a college that fits his/her needs instead of Harvard, Yale, etc.? There is going to be only one valedictorian. There is going to be only one class president. Only one (possibly two) captain for the football team. The majority of students are NOT going to be those things and that is OK!
Why do we buy into the illusion that our lives have to be THE BEST? (See: https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2019/03/perfect.html) Most of us are NOT millionaires (or billionaires, trillionaires, etc.)! Most of us are not even remotely wealthy. Maybe it doesn't appear that way because there are so many "reality" shows on that portray the glamorous lives of A, B or C , or because of social media postings of X, Y or Z. It's NOT true. Most of us just are. Period.
We are NOT Oscar winners. We are NOT top chefs. We are NOT Super Bowl champs. We did not graduate #1 in our class at Harvard. Most of us didn't go to Harvard. I'm not knocking Harvard, but I'm of the mind that there's nothing wrong with being #100 out of class of 250 from whatever college or university you might want to name.
As parents, of course we want what is best for our children. But what is best for MY child is NOT what is best for yours. Pushing a child, or yourself, into a mold that does not fit is not being the best. It can be dangerous and unhealthy.
We should NOT focus on being THE BEST. What we should be focusing on is how to live our lives to the fullest. To allow ourselves to enjoy and excel at what we LOVE. As for the things that we are not good at or do not care for; let them go.
Let me put this out there...I was NOT the BEST student in school. In high school, I excelled and LOVED certain subjects. There were certain subjects that I just couldn't wrap my head around. (And to this day, I STILL can't). For the most part, even in the subjects that I excelled in, I was (to my recollection) not the BEST student in the class. But I still walked away with knowledge that I have to this day and my memories of those classes are something that I carry with me to this day. (I fully admit that I've blocked out most of the memories around subjects that I just couldn't "get".) I didn't go to Harvard, I went to Cedar Crest College because after touring several different schools it felt like the right place for me and it was. I got a good education. For the most part I did my best when I was there. (I'll admit there were times when I most likely did not, but that's part of the process too.) In my years since then I've had several jobs; some I liked and some I did not. I've done my best in all of them. One of my passions is writing. This blog is my outlet for that. It's not the best blog out there; although I'm not sure how one would judge that. It certainly isn't the most talked about or read. But it IS me. It allows me to express myself as BEST as I can.
I am not THE BEST by any means. Upon reflection, I don't want to be. What I am, for the most part, is happy (and relatively healthy). I am the best Bfth that I can be.
I encourage you all to NOT be THE BEST. Be YOUR best. Be you.