The glass is half full

95.5%? Of course I was happy. Surprised, even. I thank God for I know I would not have done as well without Him. It’s hard to argue with the belief that those who work hard get the mark they deserve, that it’s an innate intelligence and a rigorous work ethic that brings forth a good grade. It’s hard to argue with those who believe that every ‘blessing’ and achievement is within my control. That it’s all me, my mind, my efforts. But I know that wisdom comes from Him- that much I have prayed for. It’s what my grandmother prays for. Sophie. Wisdom.

“Do your best and God will do the rest”. True. For the subjects that I struggled most with and worked hardest for, I received the best results. For the subjects I thought I was good at, and worked the least for (good ol complacency), I got lower marks. That ‘luck’ that you sometimes need in an exam? For me, that’s God’s working.

My thankful heart was quickly replaced with dissatisfaction when I broke the news to my parents. I have the possibility of obtaining 97.7% so shall I go for a remark or not? My parents had split attitudes about it. My mum thought: 97.7% is a very rare achievement, relative to most people who take the course; definitely worth the money and the slight risk of being marked lower than my original grade. My dad thought: what’s the point, you’re accepted by your University of choice and you’ve exceeded their (our) expectations.

But my mum’s thoughts nagged at me. 97.7% sounds a lot better than 95.5%. 97.7% is closer to perfect. It’s harder to obtain and a greater achievement. And it’s always about me in comparison to my cohort. Me in relation to the rest of the people in the world. WHY must I compare myself and think: how about those two extra marks? It’s like getting 99% and being unhappy for missing that 1%. I’ve always thought people like that were ridiculous, ungrateful and making their own lives shit. Why not celebrate what’s there instead of what’s lacking? And so, I’ve decided to push those thoughts away. If I give in and ask for a remark, I’ll never learn to be secure and happy with what I have. Being grateful is a step towards happiness. That at least, is in my control.

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