“This is so hard! I can’t do this,” said the seven year old as she stared down at her math work. She had yet to attempt a question.
“Yes, you can. Just try,” encouraged the teacher.
“No, no. I can’t!”
I felt like that just summed up my entire life. I couldn’t relate more to a seven year old than I could in the moment.
The teacher, we’ll call her Ms. T, had taught a math lesson on subtraction. I think this was the first time these second graders were introduced to subtraction in school.
I watched as this seven year old sat down at her desk, looked at the question and turned to me. “Wow, these are hard. I can’t do it.”
In the moment, I was a little shocked. Did she say she couldn’t do it without even trying it? I attempted to encourage her but she stayed stubborn. “It’s too hard. I can’t do it.” She had made up her mind the second she saw the questions and declared that she wasn’t smart enough to answer these questions.
After she had turned away, I stared down at my work and pondered on her words.
How many of us had been handed something and before we could even try, we shake our head and say, “Can’t do it. Sorry.”
I think I’ve gone a good portion of my life doing exactly that. This year I’ve definitely put a lot of effort in. So far, in math class, I’ve been on top of the game. I’m hoping to keep it exactly like that.
Yesterday, my math teacher had introduced and taught my class a new lesson. Before that certain lesson, I had understood everything. Something that was unusual when it came to math. But anyways, after the lesson was taught, I sat back, pulled out my phone, nudged my friend and said, “This is too hard. I don’t understand it.” For the reminded of the period (there was only five minutes left), I scrolled through Instagram rather than scanning the lesson and asking quick questions.
I took my math textbook home that night and never did the work because I couldn’t stop thinking about how hard the chapter was. Today morning, back in math class, I had the whole period to review the whole unit before our test on Tuesday.
So, I tried to understand the lesson I didn’t understand the previous day and let me tell you how easy it was when I actually tried it.
We force ourselves to believe a lie because we’re too lazy to practice. We’d rather complain than try to understand. We give up too quickly. We make up our minds too quickly. All we need is a little bit of effort. The negative vibe we have is just a dark, stony cloud hiding the sun.
I vow, from today forth, that I will never mention how hard something is before actually trying it.
Just like how I vowed to never say how tired I am every morning when I’m not even that tired.
Oh, to end this post off positively, after the seven year old was done her page of subtraction, she looked up at Ms.T with a huge smile and said, “Wow, that was easy!”
QOTD: Have you even given up without trying? What was the task?