by Allwin Bright

I was truly excited about finding the poem ‘Confessions of a Born Spectator’ by Ogden Nash from a source in the internet. This was one of my favorite poems in my school days. Reading it again brought back the nostalgia of the good old school days. Twixt Prudence and Ego, Prudence wins…  just couldn’t get this line from the poem out of my head. It kept echoing in my ears. It was because not very long ago I myself was going through a battle between Prudence and ego.

Though failing was not something new to me there was a phase where I had a few continuous and shocking failures in my life.  Each time I failed frustrations started building up. It was hard to digest failure and it was harder to accept other’s success and congratulate them feeling happy for them. It felt horrible and agonizing. Blinded by people who praised me a lot, I was swollen with pride about my talent and abilities. I started becoming more and more jealous of my peers and counterparts.  Often I ended up feeling that they did not deserve to be successful. I was feeling so thwarted that for over a period of time that I had even forgotten how to smile. Even if  I did smile once in a while it was a never that candid smile which once used to be. It was all fake.

Just when things were about to horribly go wrong. I came across a number of people who were amazingly talented and yet remained so down to earth. I was humbled by the mark of  humility with which they carried themselves.  I do not know if I was doomed to meet such people to bring me back to senses. I realized that I was just another frog dwelling in a well.  As time went by Prudence eventually took over and I started seeing each failure as a lesson. Instead of complaining I started analyzing where and what went wrong. I gave my best and just tried to forget the rest. It was not at all easy to accept failures with grace and  I was not successful overnight but everything started getting better gradually.

I  learned a thing or two from what all I went through with me. No matter how talented and how consistent you are, failure is an inevitable part of every person’s life at some point in time. Failures too have a purpose. It is to remind you that you are a mere mortal and to keep your ego in check.  This was an invaluable lesson conveyed through this line in the poem. Every time I reach a milestone be it a small one or a stupendous achievement. I keep repeating this to myself. It makes me feel good and works wonders in keeping my pride under control.