Tuesday, February 14, 2012


“Thereare a whole lot of things I stink at. I just make sure I don’t have to do them to be successful.”~Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

I really never mean to do this: Taking the intimate submissions of people and paste it hear as an example on the blog. I have learnt that although we are living in the age of social media, there are some things that cannot really be put out there in the public. I had a good lesson few weeks back when I posted something spiritual on my Facebook Page...only to fight with a fellow believer ON MY OWN WALL...about what was absolutely intimate, personal and crucial for me.

So when I address this following story, I do so humbly but soberly. I did not go looking for this story, but it came by my attention. The reason as to why I have to address this is that it happens multiplied millions of times all over the globe. It also happens not just once, but it is guaranteed to happen every year as sure as the sun rises and sets. It happened to me. It might also have happened to you, most probably.

It is that single event that is responsible for heartaches, anxiety, disillusionment, rejection, apathy and to some extreme cases, high blood pressure and even death. The most interesting thing is that many kids are exposed to it year in and year out. It is so paradoxical that something that is supposed to qualify the youth and give them direction to have depth and meaning in life churns out the side effects mentioned. A good percentage of the youth who escape the side effects always end up in life "just getting by". They live a life devoid of purpose and passion, they are not even bothered about Life Signatures, as long as they get by.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am talking about...EXAM RESULTS. I was privileged on Saturday 11th February 2012 to be on a show on 104.1 Power FM in Uganda called "Ask The Pastor". Now don't ask me if I am a Pastor coz I wont answer. The results for High School students who sat for their exams last year just came out last week. On the show, this young girl calls and in between her sobs, she wonders why bad things happen to good people. She has failed in her exams yet she prepared, prayed and believed God to pass. Her parents are disappointed. Her life is messed up (According to her). She does not know what to do. Believe me, that is just a sample of many others out there.

Can someone's life be defined by their failure or success in an exam they took in an is education system? You see, this is a crucial question. To be honest, I believe that all efforts to educate the youth and even adults are laudable. Education is a basic human need and even a right. It ranks up there with food, shelter and clothing. However, I believe that far more important is the definition of our WHY. There is a heaven and earth difference between a candidate who has failed their end year exam YET knows their Life PURPOSE...and one who has passed their end year exam and are still clueless as to why they were born in the first place.

The most unfortunate thing is to focus our lives on passing an intellectual milestone as the sole answer in having a better life. In fact it is unfortunate to focus on having a better life rather than having a meaningful, deeper and useful life. When we focus on surviving rather than thriving, we are selling ourselves too short. Can there be relevant and purpose-filled individuals despite their 'failure' in academics? Of course there are countless out there.

Our education systems and way of life are based on time-honored principles which if not altered become obsolete in themselves. The trouble is that these principles have become part of the norm and are not questioned at all even when they are wrong.

When students sit for 'major' exams and come out crying when results are announced...I submit that the problem is not the just the students...the problem is also in the Education System! When parents turn against their children regarding them as 'wasters of funds which would have otherwise done something constructive' just because they failed a one-month-exam...something is wrong, terribly wrong somewhere. When the self same parents spend gazillions of money in 'coaching programs' where kids are taught how to 'pass exams'...and not on who they are and their life's purpose...we are missing the whole point.

There is lots of folly in exposing kids to situations where they must work hard in what they are not good at since their success (read passing exams) depends entirely on those things. And it is absolute folly for us to OFFICIALLY BRAND KIDS FAILURES at many levels of their advancement (or is it disqualification) in their education. What message are we sending? That they are not needed? Imagine a 16 year old kid...with more than 70 or so years to go...being officially branded a failure! What a tragedy! But it happens...and It happened to me. There are lots of emphasis in this folly that even myself, after completing my High School with a Mean Grade of B-(Minus), and dad being disappointed by my performance, I offered to go back and make it better! Can you believe that? I had passed...but...sigh...anyway. Let me not get worked up here.

My message to all out there who have been labeled by an academic system is this: Your latter will be greater than your past. Though in our day and age you are affected by Academics, your life can never be defined by an academic exam, your passing or failing it. I think I read somewhere these words: I CAN is much more powerful and important than IQ. In anycase, for the most part, in academics, the exams will only test you on one thing...what you have learnt. What about your giftings, talents? What about your deep seated desires, dreams and passion? Do you think these are useless? No they are not. You think you failed? Your life begins now. Remember, there is a hidden hand in 2012. Go for it.

To all parents: You are doing an awesome job sending those kids to school, providing for them and being there for them. But know this. I have been a child before, and that is why I am passionate about this subject. Your child is not a failure just because they flanked in their grade. As much as we must not excuse laziness and lethargy on their part, we must not approach this subject with such brutal finality after they have 'failed'. I know it is not that simple, but that is why we are parents in the first place. Our job is to believe in our kids...mold them to success, significance and greatness relentlessly. Believe me, it is worth it!

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