“You are nothing close to good, talk more or being good for nothing! You are in same age group with every kid here but you are left behind as if you are an 8 year old kid. You don’t always get anything right! Why did the school accept you in the first place?” Miss Kate yelled at Peter.
Miss Kate is the coach of “Stars,” which is a team of teenagers in the age group of 13 to 15, in a summer Basketball school. Peter clocked 14 some days before his school vacated for summer. On his birthday, his parent surprised him with the gift of an admission to enrol in the basketball summer school. Peter was very excited about it. He has always loved basketball since he was a toddler. He often tell his parent and friends that he will be the next Micheal Jordan. Micheal Jordan was his role model.
At school, Peter was an average student. He had problem, understanding easily as well as forgets easily. Hence, he often spend most times studying to make sure he doesn’t fail at school and to make his parent proud. For this reason, he barely has time for sports so he couldn’t join his school’s Basketball team.
The Basketball summer school was for 4 weeks and it was already 11days gone and Peter was finding it hard mastering some basic skills in basketball. He couldn’t make good passes as well as shooting. While others have mastered the skills. Thus, Miss Kate really felt disappointed and had him follow her to Mr. Thomas, Who was the head-coach. Mr Thomas pleaded with her to let the boy continue because he believes he will catch up. “He just need to consistently practice. I know he will perfect them.” He said, smiling and looking at Peter. “Miss Kate, can you give me few minutes with the boy? He will join you in the class in no time.” he requested. “All right. No problem about that. “ she said, heading towards the door.
Mr. Thomas left his seat to sit in the visitor’s seat next to Peter’s. Since Peter entered Mr. Thomas’ office, his head was down, wearing an unhappy look. He tried cheering him up by saying a random joke which only got him to give a 2 seconds smile. All of a sudden, Peter busted his silence, “all the kids there say I am dump, I can’t be good at anything. No one believes in me. Even our coach thinks I am dumb. Maybe I am anyways.” He replied, “No, Son! You are no where close to being dump. You are full of potentials. I believe in you. Your parent do, as well. You know that.”
“That’s because you are not there; your perception. My parent will say just same thing! I can’t even make good passes. Shooting is the worst of all. I can’t continue, sir… They are right!”
It’s sad Peter accepted what he was labelled by his coach and teammates. He couldn’t realize his dream of being a basketball player because majority of the people he spends his time the most with, branded him “dummy” and as a teenager whose success is determined by how people closest to him, (peers or friends) appreciate him, he couldn’t forge ahead. This is the reality o a lot of people mostly teenagers.
A lot of individuals are where they are today because of what they were labelled by the people closest to them. Even though Peter’s parent and Mr. Thomas labelled him “good enough to realize his basketball dream,” the people he hang around most, have a different perception.
A lot of us have labelled some people useless just because they can’t meet our expectation, neglecting the fact that every human has his highs and lows; perfection and imperfections; abilities and disabilities. We fail to accept the fact that there are some special individuals who need extra time to perfect some skills, which is unlike the majority; our strengths and weaknesses ain’t the same. Peter was one of those special individuals and there are some around you.
Theirs might not be as complicated as Peter’s, but still we need to realize that just because they are not as smart, intelligent, creative, analytic, courageous, quick in assimilating, bold or outspoken as we are, doesn’t mean we should brand them “good for nothing or inferior or numb” because someday, you might be surprised at how far they will go because the people they might later hang around gave them reasons bring out the best in them.
Do you think if Peter’s coach and teammates never labelled him “dummy,” he would have fulfilled his dream?
Whatever your answer might be, whatever we brand the people closest to us, affect their success in life. Looking at the lives of achievers like Helen Keller, Who was left blind and deaf by an unknown illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain,” 19months after her birth. Amazingly, she lived her dream; becoming an author, political activist, lecturer because her family and her teacher, never branded her “useless.” They believed in her all along even at moments she didn’t believe in herself.
You can learn more about her via the link below:
There are a lot of great men and women who once lived, and those alive that are who they are, because the people they hang around never labelled them “useless or good for nothing.” Even if they didn’t believe in their dreams, they didn’t label them wrongly. So even if you don’t believe in them, don’t label them wrongly, because a lot of people in the world, are product of what they were labelled by the people they hang around, most.
A question to you is, how are your attitudes, words and actions labelling those who hang around you most?
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