What does ‘the best’ mean

Actually? According to whom? Or to what set of criteria?

My children told me today the names of the people who had got ‘top’ of their year in the exams. I was a little annoyed for two reasons, firstly because what has become of the Quaker ethos in the Quaker school, and secondly, how can you call one child out of more than a hundred the best when each has their own way of excelling?

Only earlier today I was saying how thankful I was for my two. They did everything I couldn’t manage and more. No-one will call them up to the front of assembly for that, but I will remember it always.

Maybe you have won awards or maybe you haven’t but I challenge you to list the times when you conquered a fear or tried something new or just simply made it through a hard day.

I wish I had a huge box full of gold medals because I bet you I can find a reason to give them to each one of you. It’s a horrible thing that all the other children have gone home thinking they are less than someone else. That Twitter is pushing you down with the accolades for someone else. Poor Andy Murray knows that feeling this week. Or maybe you have ended your week, even your career, and no-one has really bothered to tell you how well you did.

Of course, the only way to be genuinely pleased for someone else who wins when you do not is to know, deep down, that you are a winner too. That is very hard to do. Now that my days of academic achievements and careers are done, it is hard to shake off envy. Until I remember that truth I always repeat: look at all the things you have and treasure them.

I guarantee they are worth more than gold.

What is ‘the best’?

You might not realise yet, but you already have it.

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