“You have the makings of an outstanding student.”
We were in highschool and sitting in the girls’ quadrangle talking about everything and nothing, and my bestfriend, the smartest in the batch, blurted out those words out of the blue. I looked into her eyes and saw only sincerity.
I furrowed my brows and wondered way into the night about those words. She believed.
A thought: maybe I could believe too.
I did okay in school, not too good, not too bad, some medals and commendations here and there but nothing out of the ordinary. And I was all okay with that, okay with a mediocre existence, with no one expecting extraordinary things from me, looking at me funny, or with hope in the eyes.
I do have good genes. My parents are smart people. Dad excelled in Math, and my mother, in Writing. But with four kids between them and a job and the chores around the house, there was no push, or a shove, or pressure to be better. And I am thinking – maybe that was good. I do not know how I would have fared if I were perceived to be the next president or a girl-genius.
And then she, my bestfriend, believed, and I thought I could move mountains. It was as if my eyes were suddenly open to my possibilities.
I can still remember: I held the concept in my hand, turned it over and over. Is it possible? I always looked at the smart girls with awe, wanting to be like them but not, because I was half shy, did not like attention and am used to being just-one-of-them-girls or half ignored. But the “concept” shone with appeal until I could no longer turn my back on a possibility. A decision: this is what I want, I can do this. A fortuitous effect from something short of a whisper: You have the makings of an outstanding student.
For the next few years, from nowhere, I bagged the third highest honor and went on to ace the college qualifying exam. I then entered a premier university and graduated with honors.
Life continued, only better and brimming with possibilities.
It is still ongoing, this process of belief. Thousands of nights thinking that you are just like any other could make a person believe that he is like any other. And I was, for half of my existence.
It took one single breath of the most beautiful words – belief – with a dash of good intentions – to change everything. As if those words unlocked a magic door but I also found that everything I needed to succeed was within me. All this time.
It takes one person. And some words.
You, who or what is your motivator?
PS. Thanks, T.
Article by Issa. Art by D. Copyright 2009.
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