Life is But a Series of Exams: How Results Orientation Helps Build Better Societies

If your child fails to achieve the grades expected, as parents, there is surely a lot of disappointment. Even if the child has never shown much improvement during those tests at school and homework, even after so many tuition classes, revisions and mentoring, parents do have that hope inside them that things will turn out for the better during the real exam. It’s as if the real exam has some kind of magical power that can put right the many shortcomings they face daily when it comes to prepping their child for exams.

Well, we are know that exams are not the end of everything. There’s so much more to life than just exams, some parents will say. But, deep down we all know that the results do mean a lot for everyone – the child, the parent and the society. The biggest reason – life itself is a series of exams.

We are all expected to deliver results on a daily basis. Driving safely to work. Completing an assignment. Delivering a speech. Addressing a very very important convention that involves the lives of thousands of people. Performing a critical surgery. Rescuing people trapped in an underground shaft. Building a bridge that can withstand tons of vehicles travelling across it every day for 200 years. Jumping off a flying airplane. Firing a missile to the right target. Solving a complex code error that can restore the chaos in a city of 3 million people.

Results are a norm. And no one has the luxury of delivering results at a pace that ‘works’ for them, at a time that is convenient to them or during a time where they have got the mood to do things. In almost every job or role in life, we have to deliver results as and when they are needed, and when we fail, like when we fail to raise our children well, the results will be disastrous. A firefighter cannot say that he doesn’t know how to break into a 4-storey building amid screams for help. A doctor can’t refuse to operate on an accident victim because he finds reattaching limbs a little too complicated. In real life, we don’t really have a choice not to deliver the results. And when people do choose not to deliver, like the janitor who doesn’t empty the bins completely, or the fisher monger who couldn’t be bothered to keep his cutting area clean of bacteria or when the architect doesn’t really want to double confirm the safety aspects of the high rise structure he was making for the children’s learning center, we will be so quick to hurl accuses and throw criticisms against them. Some of us can go fuming mad that we curse and ask for immediate punishments to be meted out against these people.

A parent who says that exam results are too pressurizing, too taxing on their 12 year old must remember that thousands of other children went through the same and delivered what they could. The other children learnt to deliver. His/hers didn’t. When it becomes okay not to do well, it becomes okay not to deliver results. When it becomes okay not to deliver results, it becomes okay to earn money without delivering results. It then becomes okay to do shoddy work, to take short cuts, to use crooked means because to earn money without delivering results, one most resort to something that the society will be none to pleased to accept. So, if life is a series of exams, and we want others to deliver good results, we should start off by delivering good results too – firstly, by delivering results as effective parents; and secondly, by cultivating the ethos of good results at home by making sure that our children, even if they don’t pass in flying colours, grow up to respect those who do, and appreciate the good results others deliver for them in the course of their life. If this culture is instilled in all housesholds, results will definitely be delivered, and grades will improve tremendously across all exams.

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