Virtually all parents want the best for their children. And one of their wishes is for them to be number in all their endeavours. What could be wrong with some goals that parents set for their children? Read this abridged presentation by one of our corporate speakers, Chris Nkwocha, and learn more.
The Quest to be Number One
My parents had limited education and wanted all six of us who are their children to make them proud with enviable school results. They always wanted us to be first in the class which we most times did and when we failed to meet their expectations, it was war, both physical and verbal. I want to believe that you too have a similar experience. Yes, every parent wants their child to be first in their class. They want their child to beat the entire school. And how happy they feel when their child is first in the whole country. The child who comes first in an international examination has given their parents a bragging right they will always want to use even when it’s not called for.
So children are under pressure, not just to pass their examinations but, to be number one. An outright failure in an examination is a crime to be prosecuted by mum and dad in the family court; thus failure is a stigma that no child wants to be associated with. A child who fails may be given the treatment of an outcast by family members who make jest of them.
Kriz, for instance, was a brilliant boy when he was in primary school, and he was the pride of his parents. But when he gained admission to secondary school, things changed as the contest got hotter than he could ever imagine. His position in the class kept dropping and dropping to the point that he felt embarrassed to present his result to his parents. He was so much pressured by the expectation of his parents to the point that he contemplated suicide. But, must your child be number one? What spirit are you really sowing in your child when you insist they must outshine their contemporaries? Is failure truly a stigma?
The Origin of the Me-First Spirit
My child must be number one is the spirit that promotes the me-first-attitude that permeates the world. This spirit dates back to our first parent—Eve. The idea to be number one appealed to her greatly as can be seen in her discussion with the serpent. It was not the fruit itself that attracted Eve because she was not told how delicious it was, rather, she was told the benefits of eating the fruit: “You will become like God.” Becoming like God places her above her husband, Adam, and gives her more power and authority and invariably making her at least number one in the Earth.
Like Eve like Cain who murdered his brother. For what reason did Cain kill his brother? Because he failed while his brother recorded success ahead of him. Had God accepted Cain’s sacrifice, he would have rejoiced in victory over his brother, Abel, because to him, they were in a contest and he wished to be number one.
Like Cain, like some students, who scheme to eliminate their fellow students just to be number one. For example, a student in a junior school, killed his mate by pushing him down from a story building, not knowing that someone was watching. When asked why he did what he did, it was discovered that the murdered mate was more brilliant than him, and will always outshine him during examinations. Like Cain, like many other people, who are ready to destroy others and take the first place.
Pride and the Quest to be Number One
The me-first-spirit has promoted pride, making people think more of themselves than they are worth. They feel superior to others and treat them like waste products of no value. The spirit of pride promotes hatred and anger. You may have observed that people who are proud wear a countenance of anger when they see those they perceive as inferior. Do you know of someone who will reluctantly respond to the greetings of their subordinates? They just walk past wearing a straight face when greeted. That’s pride in action! Proud people are usually not happy because they think that treating others respectfully belittles them and their self-important personality.
Prideful thinking, the same as the me-first-idea, is responsible for the win-at-all-cost position of athletes and other sports teams and their supporters. You see them pray for victory and when they lose, they get angry and fight their opponents. And like Cain, they sometimes kill their opponents.
Failure, A key to Success
Many successful people have failure as their foundation. This does not mean that you have to plan to fail in order to succeed. No, failure as a result of mistakes, miscalculations, and unfavourable circumstances is what leads to success. It’s not the kind of failure rooted in laziness and lack of will power. Kriz, mentioned earlier, overcame his fears and faced the future with confidence. He had to change his perception of what true success is, not always wanting to be number one but to accomplish tasks with a sense of determination. Today, Kriz is considered a huge success among his contemporaries.
The fact remains that the world is not ruled by first class materials. For instance, how many professors of political science is the president of any country you know? Winners are those who are determined to succeed. It is hard work that gives the desired result not the determination to be number one.
The King of pride is Satan and he is the promoter of the me-first-spirit which he sold to Eve. Pride is one of the expressions inspired by demons that we all need to root out of thinking. For you to be happy and successful, you just have to cultivate and clothe yourself with humility for it recommends you to people. You do not have to be number one