Sumit and Vinit were two brothers. Sumit was the elder one studying in college and Vinit was the younger one studying in school. Their father was extremely strict and raised them in a disciplined environment. Although their mother was kind and loving, their father was hard on the boys. Their father would always press on them that to thrive in this world they have to be better than the others.
Even though Sumit was studying Engineering, he was always reminded that he must be best in the class to secure a good career. Sumit studied hard and never went out other than college or tuitions. Vinit on the other hand, was relaxed towards life. He didn’t accept the fact that to become successful in life he had to out-compete others.
One day, Rajiv, a friend of Vinit came to their house to return his notes. Vinit wasn’t at home so his brother collected it. Immediately he became shocked at his brother’s foolishness. Later he warned his brother to not share notes with others. But Vinit couldn’t understand why he shouldn’t help his friends. When the results were out Vinit ranked second in his class. Instead of congratulating his son, his father started to berate him for not topping the class.
Sumit added that Vinit had been sharing his notes with others! Their father was angry. He asked who was the first boy in the class. Vinit said that it was his close friend, Rajiv. Sumit immediately said that Rajiv got Vinit’s notes and so he had become the topper! Their father immediately started to humiliate Vinit. He said that if Vinit continued helping the others, he would never achieve anything good in life.
Sumit was an obedient boy. He was careful enough to follow his father’s advice. He never spoke much with his friends let alone to share any study material! When Sumit’s results came out, their father was immensely proud. As usual, Sumit was the class topper. Their father asked Vinit to learn from his elder brother! But Vinit suddenly said that success can’t be measured by a rank!
Sumit laughed but their father was angry. He demanded an explanation from his younger son. Vinit replied that success is not an end goal but he felt that success could be achieved every day by improving your own self! Their father was irritated. He said that because of this stupidity Vinit never stood first in his class. But he had no competition with others, exclaimed Vinit. He was his own competition.
After a week, their father received a letter from Vinit’s school to meet the Principal. He was anxious that Vinit must have done something wrong that his parents were called. Both he and his wife went to meet the Principal. They entered the room with panic but the Principal smiled at them and requested them to sit. He then said that Vinit had made the entire school proud. One of his science projects have been selected in an international school competition. Vinit had received a medal of recognition and a scholarship to study in a prestigious college in London.
The Principal continued that because of his helpful attitude Vinit was loved by all his friends and teachers. He added that although Vinit never ranked first in class, his achievements were much better than his rank. Securing a first position in an international science competition was far superior than coming first in class! Listening to this, a tear came in his father’s eyes. He realized that true progress is measured by one’s own achievements and not by competing with others!
Moral: Progress is made by comparing yourself to your past achievements, not to others.