Learning is no contest

Cowboys, image found on Cowboy to Cowboy

"It's not a question of being the best, is it? We Lakota love a good contest. A basketball game, a foot race, a rodeo, even a fancy dance. But not everything has to be a contest. [...]

"Your people make learning a contest. How can it be? There is so much. Each one learns what they can, what they need, what they like. Learning is not a competitive sport, it's... it's living, same as breathing, same as praying to your god."

A quote from a book I’ve been reading recently, Reason to Believe by Kathleen Eagle. Despite whatever I may think of characters in this book or whatever else (such as that last part about certain deities), there sure is wisdom in those words. How nice would it be if learning didn’t seem like a contest — get the best marks, go to the best uni, get first place.

Does it ever feel like a contest between siblings? Oh look, the younger child is a top student, the older one was just average or below it, really. You never won any awards to warrant us coming to your Speech Day..

Of course I could just be bitter since I’m not top student material, but you know…

I found the top image on Cowboy to Cowboy.