This was an article I’d written for SPark last year. I just wanted to share it on this blog too.
In an average class, there are usually 3 levels of students –
- The Not-so-little-Einsteins
Brilliant, quick to answer and conceptually strong ones.
- The I’m-still-trying-to-understand-that-concept
Otherwise known as the average lot. Not born with Newton’s imagination, but hey! Not everyone can be outstanding!
- The I-don’t-belong-here
The guys who didn’t want to be there in the first place.
Now, I’m certainly not claiming to be of the first category, but I would place myself somewhere between the top two. That implies that I do have some idea regarding my field, but I absolutely cannot build a mobile phone from scratch just because I’m three years into EXTC engineering.
I’m fairly sure most of us are drawing an analogy to our own lives here (unless you’re from the first category), and will agree with me when I say that the “in between” position is the toughest to be in. You hate yourself for not being clever enough when you look at the Little Einsteins and more often than not these feelings make you feel like your self-esteem just left on a long vacation to the Bahamas.
If you’re nodding enthusiastically right now then I just want you to know that you aren’t the first and you certainly won’t be the last. I’m no longer referring simply to engineers either. This is for everyone out there. This world has turned very competitive and it has led us to believe the illusion that only the smartest survive. Which is, and I vehemently defend this point, a complete untruth. To prove my point, let me ask you a simple question.
What would you do if your city came to a standstill?
Before you ask, NO, this is not me giving you a topic for an essay. This is me telling you what would happen if all the people, the ordinary, everyday, average people put up their hands in defeat. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often forget our roles in this world and equate them to next to nothing. Astronomy tells us that we are but a point in this huge huge universe. What it neglects to mention however, is what would happen if that point disappeared. Would the universe be able to compensate that ‘you’ shaped void? The answer is NO. It wouldn’t. We are the reason the clock ticks every-day, the reason the offices open, the reason the universe goes on. Every last one of us! Not just the strongest, not just the bravest and not just the smartest. All.Of.Us.
So it’s okay if you didn’t get a 20/20 on that Math test, It’s fine that your article didn’t get selected in that competition, completely alright that you burnt your first batch of cookies. It happens to the best of us. Just don’t ever give up. The ones up top got up there same as you- struggling. Don’t for one moment believe that your existence is inconsequential. Never forget that the universe wouldn’t be what it is today if you weren’t here. It’s the little ripples that grow into waves after all.
One of my favourite characters once said
“All the elements in your body were forged many many millions of years ago in the heart of a faraway star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years, these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Until, eventually, they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe.”