It is important to ignore people who say we will not succeed. Every endeavor is important and instructive, but beyond that, we each have inside of us the potential for meaningful success.
Success can mean achieving our goal. It can also be acquiring knowledge, experience or skill. Success can be learning humility and that not all is within our control. The most wonderful people in life–the ones we love the most–have suffered. Ergo, a kind of success. Such will be loved. Such will try harder. Such will inspire others to try harder.
Nothing save that which is not worthy to begin with is out of our grasp.
Both of my children have shown me the truth of this lesson, but I cast my mind back to Omar’s third grade teacher. She predicted failure. Omar rubbed her the wrong way. I tried to do what she wanted, to make my son what she wanted him to be, until one day she snapped and said something so cruel to me over the phone that I broke down in tears.
Years later, when Omar won the President’s Education Award for getting nothing but straight A’s from 4th to the end of 6th grade, a teacher’s aide informed me that the third grade teacher had come stealthily to my son every day and whispered to him that he would fail in 4th grade.
Since I knew she had set the entire class against him, through making him her whipping boy, I asked for him to be taken out of GATE at the beginning of 4th grade. I was on campus for every school lunch, adjusting my own college teaching schedule. It was hard, but we succeeded.
That was a dozen years ago. Today he has a master’s degree in engineering science.
We must not let the negativity of others drag us down or cripple us. We must not let their predictions of failure be our reality.