Few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk to someone I considered my competition in my high school years and I came to the realization that one of the reasons why we were constantly at each other’s throats was due to pressure. It was so bad that if I was given an opportunity to give a speech during my valedictory service, I’d have mentioned her name among those that didn’t want me to succeed(just like Sheldon Cooper wanted to
Our conversation made me realize that the so-called motivation we got from our family and teachers put us understand a lot of pressure and we felt the constant need to impress and outdo each other. It was always ‘seyi, I know you’re better than anifowoshe, you just need to work harder’. They probably thought it was motivation but then it just makes me wonder how do you know when to draw the line between motivating your ward or putting them under pressure?
When will parents, teachers and guardians realize that there are better ways to make a child want to be better than the usual “you are better than that girl” or “why did you come second, does Ada have two heads?” When will you realize that you don’t have to remind me of how much I have failed you and disgraced the family because each time I look in the mirror, that’s all I see? I know you might say, there’s nothing wrong if you want your child to be the next Obama but then don’t make their goals and aspirations suddenly become burdens to them simply because you want a version 2.0 of yourself. I need everyone to take a step back and start by actually listening to that person, don’t just strut into their lives and remind of how far behind they are in life and what you feel they need to do. Your opinions aren’t needed all the time but your listening ear is