The Children Condemned

Oh dear
Oh dear
Would you look at that?
Your grades are not up to the mark
Woe betide
I’m sorry, son
I just…
wish you could’ve been like your sister
We’re going to have to refer you to the disciplinary board;

The condemned assembled before us today
You are lined up in order of grades
And we’ll proceed from highest to lowest
This is in order to maximise terror for the lowest achievers
As this is only fair

Alas, we grant you mercy
Spare you from a wasted life of certain, total misery and abject failure;

For not achieving the necessary grades
And not getting into uni
We hereby sentence you to death…

A commentary on the absurdly irresponsible amounts of pressure put onto young people to achieve arbitrary academic targets determined by societyβ€” by teachers, parentsβ€” and on the encouragement of black-and-white thinking, misleading young people into believing that life is an all-or-nothing thing; that they get one chance to determine their entire future prospects and to ‘fail’ means to ‘ruin’ their whole life, with no second chance; that their personal worthiness is tied up into academic or financial achievement. Some children truly believe this. For some, it stays with them for their entire lives.

Inevitably it leads to totally avoidable suicides. It would be a shock if it didn’t.

The lucky few are able to separate their feeling of personal worth and self-esteem from such a dystopian system. Once you are free from the limitations of such a system, then life begins…


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