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Story time: Expectations are not enough

July 28, 2012

"Mom!” shouted Claire. “I’ve got a form for you to fill out for me.”  “Ok, I’ll do it,” replied mom.

Claire was a student in seventh grade. Although she was not a very good student, her teacher would always comment that she only needs to work hard to improve. She didn’t like to study. Her school had arranged a speech competition for grades 7, 8 and 9.

“Claire, I know you can win if you try hard enough. So give it your best,” mom told Claire.

“Don’t worry,” replied Claire, “I am not going to lose.” After hearing this, although mom knew that she might not win, she filled the form.

The competition was less than 15 days away and Claire had not done any preparation so far. The night before the competition, her mom, in a bid to help Claire win, wrote a speech and secretly put it in her uniform pocket.

Claire woke up and went to school and did not even bother to prepare a speech. When she reached school, she saw everyone gathered in the lecture hall and remembered her speech competition. She knew it was too late and began crying and quickly tried to grab a tissue from her pocket, but instead found the piece of paper her mother had written for her. At the top her mom had written: “I have faith in you, but remember expectations are not enough.”

When Claire was just about to go through her speech, the teacher announced that whoever had any pieces of paper should submit it to her or they would be disqualified. Claire gave her paper to the girl collecting them.

She stood at the back, worried about what she would do. She had thought that she would prepare while the others gave their speeches but, to her astonishment, she was the first participant whose name was announced.

She went on the stage nervously. She looked at everyone in front of her, then she closed her eyes for a moment and recalled her mother’s smiling face. Her nervousness disappeared and when she opened her eyes, Claire started to speak with confidence. She started to talk about a mother’s care and that how everyday is Mother’s Day. Because what Claire was speaking was from her heart, she was able to give a very nice speech and secretly thanked her mother for the motivational words that she had written on that piece of paper that Claire has seen just before the competition.

When the results were announced, Claire did not hear her name. She had been hoping for at least a consolation prize but that had gone to others. Claire was disappointed and got up to leave. When she was almost at the door, she heard her name being called out. Claire became confused, she had stopped paying attention to the announcements and didn’t know why her name was being called out. She hesitantly made her way to the stage. When she climbed the stage and reached the centre, she heard the announcer say, “And here is the winner of our first prize….”

While receiving her prize, Claire dedicated it to her mother and thanked her for having faith in her and encouraging her.