Have you ever heard of the, you could have done better syndrome? I heard of it from a very early age in life. My mother was one of those people who, no matter how well a thing was done it was never quiet good enough. She was also one who was never slow to let you know. I remember a school test. I had worked really hard to prepare for it, more than I could remember having prepared for any other test in school. On the day of the test I felt well prepared as I sat down to look at the test paper. I completed all the questions well within the set time and handed in the completed paper.
The next day the teacher handed them back out, marked and scored. I had done very well having only got two questions not completely correct. It turned out that I was second top from a class of 32. I went home proudly holding my test paper to show my parents. My mother looked at it and noted I had been second in the class. “What happened that you did not manage to come first?” This is my first remembrance of the, “you could do better syndrome.” Did it make me better? The answer to that question is simply this. I am not at all sure. What it did do though was to set in motion, “The I can do better driver.” This driver I have carried through my whole life.
So it was some surprise that I read the blog of Bonnie Heather this morning to discover my face staring from it and some very complimentary words. I find such praise very difficult and yet when artists who produce work such as she and others make comment on my work I feel very humbled and inspired.
This reminds me of the story of the man who had never married. One day his best friend asked him why he had never met somebody and settled down. He told his friend that he had wanted very much to do just that. He had looked and looked for the perfect girl. “You never found her?” asked his friend. “Yes I did,” he replied. He went on to tell his friend how he had met the perfect girl. She was perfectly beautiful and perfectly talented loving and caring. She would have made the perfect wife. “So why did you not marry her?” asked his friend. “Because she was looking for the perfect man.”
I think it is a bit late for me to learn the lesson I should have learned years ago but I have learned this. I never ever tell somebody that what they have achieved and are proud of is not the best. I strive to always encourage and inspire.
Thank you to all of you, who like Bonnie Heather, inspire me to keep on striving to reach that goal of being an artist.
This blog is linked to my other. The Summer Knows