You don't have to be clever to be great
One day I came home wailing and flung my bag in distress. My mother knew something was wrong and on asking, I told her that I again ranked 10th in the class. I felt very disheartened and said that I could never come first anytime in my life. There was tough competition in my class and with a little difference in marks the rank would go down.
My mother took me by my hand and offered me a cool drink. She made me sit on the sofa and told me about great people. She said that many of Sir Winston Churchill's teachers at Harrow gave up on him and at last he had to spend a lot of time in extra classes. Robert Clive of India was a despair to his teacher. As for Nelson, the great Admiral, when he went to school, he was a very poor scholar. His teacher couldn't have thought that he would win Trafalgar or the Battle of the Nile.
I cheered up a little and felt that yes, I too can do it. My mother also told me about Abraham Lincoln who struggled a lot when he was young. Nobody in those days would have dreamed that he would one day become the President of the United States.
I thought all great people were always at the top of the class. It's a strange thing, my mother said, but a few of them were. Many of the greatest people who have lived simply couldn't get on well at school. Being at the top of the class doesn't mean that you are going to be at the top in everything all your life. With new hope in my heart, I decided I would try a bit harder next time.
Hyderabad: Indo-American School, Mehdipatnam
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