A Case For Failure – Taking Parents-Teacher Meeting To The Next Level

In a recently released video by TVF, the makers envision a situation where the parents of employees are called upon to have a meeting with the HR manager. Taking the parents-teacher meeting to the next level, the video essentially captures how far can parents go, to see their ward succeed, not only in school and academics but also in life.

Success stories are widely celebrated. Everyone wants a share in the success of an individual –  coaches line up to validate their important contributions, peers demand treats and parents, they feel vindicated, there couldn’t have been a more certain validation of the superiority of their genes. The coaching institutes, in their bid to attract fresh talent (and money), put up posters and advertisement, that become more ubiquitous as the admission season approaches.

Failure is a taboo in the society we live in. And those who fail, repeatedly, are either lost in oblivion or are doomed to lead a mediocre life. Often, others try to explain one’s failures even though it is unwarranted. Moreover, this behaviour has penetrated all aspects of life where individuals can possibly compete. The pleasures and frustrations are often vicarious. Why else would anyone break the television set when the cricket team loses a match? However, given the sector this writer belongs to, let’s focus on education for now.

The basic instincts of human behaviour come to the fore when a person is placed in a very competitive environment. Perhaps, there was no term better than cut-throat. Children – 16-year-olds – are entering this world in increasing numbers, with the hope of making a career. In the race to grab the top seats, in the ever pertinent fear of failure, they lose out on the small joys that life offers.

The Dickensian world comes to life where humans are products (not hands), and the institutions, present-day factories. The measuring stick of how great an institution is the year-on-year growth in the placement figures. The promotion doesn’t stop even when the students, err…products graduate. More time is then spent to prove that one is doing great, instead of actually doing so. The selfie stick is the product of this human need of boasting.

These selfies then set examples for others to emulate. However, let’s not forget those, who fall by the side, who stop by, to admire the beautiful wildflowers, who reject to be a part of the contest, who still fearless and who would go to any lengths following their heart. These are the people whom people do not envy, for they are not worthy of any jealousy (at least until the time they make it big). They are, at other times, subjects of Sharma Ji’s comments.

So, how do these people survive? What fuels them? These men are the story makers. They may not have succeeded, in the sense that the world defines success, not because they couldn’t, more so because they were not meant to. They refused to run a race that they didn’t find meaning in. They chose to love. While the emotion is popular, those who live by it aren’t quite so. Yet, their stories are more interesting. Their reflections more natural, their failures more human.

It’s time that these failed individuals were listened to and talked about, for they may have learnt important lessons in humility and failure. They are the ones who expertise in what doesn’t work, which is perhaps more important than what does. Let’s strive for a society where parents are no longer held accountable for the performance of their wards, be it in school, in college or at the workplace.

 

 

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About the Author:

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Hi, I’m Joydeep! I am a first-year student at IIM Rohtak and I have failed quite often 🙂

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