“Quit the race”

Tanya Sharma

After an uncertain year of the “Corona-Pandemic”, the exam-season has come back again. The examinations are generally feared by the students, but this year the anxiety is more as your regular education has suffered a lot .So, first of all I appreciate you all that you have managed to face the tough times and now ready to give your best in the exams.
One very important lesson that I have chosen to discuss with you today is that “YOU QUIT THE RACE”. You might be surprised that in this so competitive age of today, I am asking you to get out of the race. But, believe me! This is a very important experience that I can share with you as an elder sister and a senior. You are not in competition with any other person. You are a unique self, a beautiful self .You are a divine creation. Remember, you have been sent to this world by Him to do something great. Can we really compare roses and marigolds? No, we cannot and we should not. Both are beautiful in their own way. And so are you, dear!
So, now you might be thinking that is competition bad? I would say that no, there is nothing wrong about competition. But, the kind of competition that we are experiencing these days is very toxic and unhealthy for the young minds .So, it is the nature of that competition which is important.
Let me ask you one question -What is the purpose of the competition? Competition should just be for the sake of bringing out the best in you .It should be a constant desire to do the things in the best possible way. But, what is actually happening? Students these days are running a mindless race for grades, marks and rewards. They are losing their happiness and joy in this process.
So, my dear young reader! Close your eyes and ask yourself – the last time you participated in any competition or sat for any exam, were you really happy and enjoying the process? Were you excited enough that you will get to learn something new? Or, you were constantly comparing yourself with others, or stressed about the results. Was it causing you experience any negative emotions? If yes, then you need to stop and check.
So, let me give you a mantra. Stop competing with others, but yourself. Constantly keep asking yourself this question that am I better than what I was yesterday? Am I doing something to make my skills better? If somebody is doing better than you, then see what can you learn from that person and try to improve yourself. I know you must have heard this from multiple sources, but I am reiterating it so that you do not undermine its importance – “Quit the race.”
Life is a beautiful journey and if you really want to enjoy this journey, you have to cherish it, you have to love it and how can you really cherish your life if you are constantly in a rush to leave others behind .So, what do you have to do?
Study for the love of reading: While you are preparing for your exams, do not get bogged down by how much you have to do or how many marks you have to get .Rather, enjoy the process of learning new things. Be excited enough to take your exams and give your best shot.
Detachment from the results : After you have performed your karma of studying well for the exams , you need not worry about the results .This is what the holy book Geeta also teaches us .So, just give your best and leave the rest to the Almighty God.
You are unique: I always emphasize on this fact that each one of us has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. All of us have something special in us. Take the classic examples of great personalities of the past .If Newton would have compared himself with some extraordinary dancer-friend and would have felt inferior and insecure and not worthy enough , he would not have been a great scientist . Or the often quoted contemporary example of Sachin Tendulkar. If he would have been in race with others to become an engineer, doctor or lawyer, the Indian cricket would have lost a gem.So, introspect and analyze your strengths and make them your weapons. At the same time, try to work upon your weaknesses. But, make sure your weaknesses do not define you.
Acceptance : After you have put in your honest efforts , accept whatever is granted to you by the Universe .I always want you to remember that His plans are greater and better than ours . Sometimes the things seem to be going haywire or your plans do not work out. In those situations always remember that something better is definitely in store for you. So, my dear young champions of tomorrow, dare you stop! Just keep going and the world will be at your feet one day.
To conclude, we pledge -“We are the sons (and daughters) of Light and children of God. Glory unto the Lord, we will succeed ……….Faith, fiery faith! March on….Thus and thus we shall go on, brethren”-SWAMI VIVEKANANDA