The declaration of the Matriculate and Higher Secondary results has left some of us despondent. To the parents of our children who’ve failed, I request you not make the failure of our children in one exam, the standard by which you judge them. Understand and help them to understand that life is a mixture of successes and failures. Degrees are just a testament of a person’s literacy. They do not determine a person’s intelligence, character or value to society.
Mr. Winston Churchill was blamed for the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915, and the deaths of more than 30,000 British and Allied troops during WW I. But it was he, who saved 300,000 British troops at Dunkirk at the onset of WW II and, nearly 30 years after Gallipoli, rallied the Allies to victory against the greatest evil that ever threatened humanity. His words regarding success and failure say it all, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” So, instill in our children the courage to continue, for that is all that matters.
To our children who’ve failed, I want you to know, it’s no big deal. It is important, but after all, it’s just an examination. In your life, you will encounter many more and bigger exams. You’ll pass some and fail some, the difference is that in many of life’s exams, you will not get a second chance to succeed, whereas you can take another crack at academic exams. Try harder next time. I have a friend, Atovi Z, who passed his matriculation exam on his seventh attempt, now, he’s richer than me and most Nagas, and is as happy and content, if not more so, than many of us.
And don’t be bothered by the fact that your friends have passed while you’ve failed. Life is a marathon, not a sprint; you still have years ahead of you to find your place in life. A very good friend of mine, Alem L, and I had just failed our Pre-University Science Final Examinations (Class XII Science is the present day equivalent). He, for the second time, I, for the fourth time; and were staying together when another friend, T Toshi, came to visit us. During our conversation, Toshi, out of the blue, said, “Alem, now I’m your senior.” I felt that was unwarranted, so I said, “Come on Toshi, it’s still too early to say who’s senior or junior.”I have, since, been proved right, for though both Alem and Toshi are doing well in life, I believe that Alem has had a more successful and certainly a happier life.
Cultivate the attitude to failure of my friend and brother-in-law, Akheho W. We were entering the Fazl Ali College main gate, on our way to submit our forms, admit cards and mark sheets, for our fourth attempt at the PU Sc. Exams. When you consider the fact that we were holding 3 admit cards, 3 mark sheets, 3 forms and the photostat copies of all of them; we had quite a lot of paperwork in our hands. A friend of his saw him and asked him, “Akheho, how much did you get in Chemistry?”
With a dead pan face, Akheho fanned the mark sheets and papers in his hand, flipped them, and asked, “Which year?”
You have the choice of how you deal with failure. Don’t let it depress you, use it to spur you on to success with greater determination.
May God Bless and Watch over all our Children
Kahuto Chishi Sumi
Akukau, Hevishe Village, Khaghaboto Range, Dimapur