You know what really annoys me? The insistence that a child’s academic achievement is all that is important.

A grades A grades A grades!

I read an article last year that really stuck in my mind, and the gist of the article was ‘even though he only has his O levels he has still done well in life’. Even though he only has his O levels?!! It was as if they were saying even though he only has one arm and no legs, or even though he had half his brain removed, or even though his head is on backwards, he has still done well! (I bet the person who wrote the article was an A level student, otherwise they would not have been so condescending).

How can we be so cruel to judge an A grade student as better than a B, C, or D student, or an A level student superior to an O level student? We look at A grades and A levels and associated them with success, with perfection, and we look at B, C, and D grades and O levels and think of them as less than perfect, as failures.


How often do we take a look at a beautifully made piece of furniture and marvel at it?

How often do we admire a spectacular flower arrangement?

How often do we look at a painting, amazed that the artist created something so incredible?

How often do we look at a sculpture and wonder how the sculptor could take raw materials and transform it into such beauty?

Academic achievement is NOT the yardstick by which we should measure ourselves or our children.

OUR ACTIONS are what we should measure ourselves and others by, and OUR PASSION.

A carpenter feels so at one with the wood that he instinctively knows how to shape it, how it fits together, how best to show its natural beauty.

A florist knows how shapes, colors and scents fit together and compliment each other.

An artist has an image in her mind of what she desires to set free upon the canvas, and her passion will guide her hands and help her to set free the image in her mind.

A sculptor, like an artist, knows in her mind what it is she desires to mold the clay into, and her passion will guide her fingers to find that shape within the clay, as if it has always been there, waiting to be exposed.

A potter is so in-tune with the clay that she instinctively knows how to shape it this way and that.

Every person has a natural talent that is in line with his or her life direction. A person who finds academic work easy will most likely end up working in business, perhaps as an accountant, or a lawyer, or some other white-collar work, and they will he happy in that work. A person who is interested in food, in the way flavors fit together, may end up working in a kitchen or perhaps take it a step further and become a chef. A person who likes to make things with their hands will likely get a job somewhere that allows them to continue that fascination.

If we deem A grade and A levels to be the only grades that counts then what we are really saying is that we want all children to be academically inclined—like cloned academic Dolly sheep. The result of such a world would be a world without art, without novels, without movies, without plumbers, without mechanics, without houses, without fences, without restaurants.

We should celebrate the diversity of children and adults. We should celebrate the dreams that we hold and the passions that drive us.

You have no idea what it is like to discover that the burst of a caper’s saltiness combines perfectly with potato salad until you have combined them through your fascination for flavors, and discovered that it takes the potato salad to a whole new level. That is the passion that drives a person who works with food, or who is destined to work with food. That person may not be an A grade student, but who cares. The grade doesn’t make the potato salad.

An A grade didn’t fix your car.

An A grade didn’t mend your leaking pipes.

An A grade didn’t cook you the best meal you’ve ever eaten.

An A grade didn’t make that couch you fell in love with.

An A grade didn’t make that coffee table you just had to have.

A person did. A person with talent and passion for their work.

Don’t ever judge a person as a success or failure, as worthy or unworthy, based upon their grades. Judge them by their personality, their works, and by the way they live--be they child or adult.

Author's Bio: 

Robyn is a writer of visionary fiction. She is also a spiritual teacher and counselor. Visit her website to read about her novels, and also to read some of her articles and channeled teachings.