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Success and smartness

I always read Ibrahim Alammar’s articles with great interest. The writer not only always comes up with interesting ideas but he also presents his arguments in a very effective manner. His article “Are smarter people more successful?” (Aug. 15) is also a very nice attempt at highlighting an important issue.
I do agree with the writer that we have very wrong perceptions about success, academic performance and smartness. There is a need to change our perception because due to this wrong concept many smart children, who may not be very good in classrooms, face unnecessary pressures due to expectations arising from wrong notions about smartness and academic performance.
Every human being is unique. Expecting everybody to perform well in exams or to become engineer, doctor or pilot affects a child’s individuality. We as elders or parents should try to guide our children and help them explore their true abilities. Many people possess the ability to become great writers or musicians but they never pursue their ambitions because of social pressure and wrong ideas about success. Such gifted people usually end up living a mediocre life. This is very common in our part of the world. From the beginning children are forced to pursue the unfulfilled dreams of their parents. We tend to impose our wishes on our children. A man, due to whatever reasons, failed to become an engineer imposes his will on his son or daughter without taking into consideration the true abilities or likes and dislikes of the child.
Unfortunately, our education system is also not designed to bring out the best in a child. We are more focused on preparing workers not thinkers. This part of the world has over the time become the producer of cheap labor for the developed countries. In order to reverse this trend, we need to launch a concerted campaign aimed at changing social perceptions and reformation of the education sector. — Pervez Zaeem, Jeddah