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Few weeks ago a 15 year old came to see me in clinic. She has just finished her 10th std exam.
She heard me in a school seminar last year and decided to approach me in time of difficulty.
Her difficulty is quite typical of a 15yr old urban indian teenager. So I decided to write about it.

She attended a school where "everyone" scores above 90% and "atleast half of them" score above 95%. in 10th std exams.
By her own assessment she will score around 75-80%. Which is utter disgrace from point of view of school, family and her own expectations as well.

She remembered that for years she and her friends have laughed at people who score less than this grade in her school.
She expressed deep anguish at her past behaviour and blindly believing standards set by her school and friends and families in her circle.
She steered the discussion towards feeling of uselessness due to this grade issue.
We talked about lot of things in her life and it was clear that she has excellent vocabulary, emotive skills, systemic understanding of how things work, ability to recognize emotions in other people and herself, even a gift of helping people calm down in minutes.
She can think about second and THIRD order consequences of action!

So when she spoke about joining commerce stream and moving on to management studies, i knew that this girl is a superstar.
We talked about her natural gifts and how they align well with her chosen career. So she actually has superpower of being emotionally aware, emotionally smart and choosing a path that puts this to good work.
Quite an exceptional achievement for someone who is just 15 years old.
When she was made aware of this, her smile literally lit up the room.

She left the clinic with hope about herself.
I may see her again, i may not. (Family was worried about clinical depression. That she does not have )

But one thing is for sure, there are huge range of abilities in all of us. Schools will recognize very few of them and value even fewer.
We owe it to our kids and kids around us that we give them specific positive feedback about their qualities.

Focus on only "encashable" abilities is our cultural burden. The sooner we learn to enjoy qualities , better it will be for kids and for our society.
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Keep Current with Dr.Bhooshan Shukla MD डॉ. भूषण शुक्ल

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