Does Hard Work Really Pay Off?

In the prologue to Act 11 in Shakespeare’s play entitled “Henry V,” we find the chorus saying these words:

“Now all the youth of England are on fire,

And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies:

Now thrive the armourers and honour’s thought

Reigns solely in the breast of every man:

The sell the pasture now to buy the horse.”

Henry V of England is preparing to make war on France, a neighbouring country that lies at the shortest distance, just 26 miles across the English Channel.

Shakespeare, in this prologue is describing the preparations that the English are making for this war. The first five lines in the chorus tell the reader in a most vivid manner the minute preparations that are being made.

In an effort to explain the five lines, young Englishmen are anxious and eager to engage in the mortal combat; they have put away all the fine garments that pertain to peace time. These who make the armour and weapons are quite busy. Land is sold to purchase the horse on which they will ride to battle. These young men are all desirous of winning honour, fame and fortune for themselves and territory for their country.

The main purpose for quoting the lines from the sixteenth century Shakespearian play serves to show that when individuals are goal-directed, all other activities recede into the background in order that the goal may be successfully achieved.

A little more than three weeks have elapsed after our children by thousands have returned to the class-room for the third and final semester before the close of the school year. I believe that all of these students have or ought to have expressed a specific goal in mind.

For some of them, this is their last term in Primary School, for others, they will be saying good bye to their institution and look forward to enjoy the long – desired summer break. But between now and that break lies the dreaded word “Examinations.”

The GLAT, the BJC’s and the BGCSE’s – and I am sure that all the Examinees would like to obtain a high score on the GLAT and A’s on the other two tests. But let me remind you now, boys and girls, those high scores can only be obtained through hard work and sustained effort.

If one wants to become a good athlete in any sporting activity, whether it be football, basketball, baseball, track and field, one must practice, practice and practice, until that activity consumes your very being. Gold, silver and bronze medals at Carifta and Olympic games are not by chance. The great golf player Tiger Woods, who for the space of about three years had his position as number one in that field, is now regaining prominence in his sporting activity because of practice.

There are several variables that preclude you from reaching your full potential, and listed here are some of them – lack of interest in your studies, inadequate preparation, inattention to the teacher or instructor, too much time spent in T.V. watching, and now, the all consuming texting.

All of these distractions are valid reasons for the poor performance demonstrated by a significant number of students who wrote the examinations. Your goal should be to change your Ds into Cs, Cs into Bs and Bs into As; and change the national average from D+ to loftier heights. If that were to be achieved, each of you would hold your head high and be proud that your individual effort has been responsible for the dynamic change. There is no doubt that some of you perform excellently, achieving As and Bs, but the poor performance of so many has pulled the national average down.

I urge you boys and girls, to pay attention to your studies, because your future in life is inextricably linked with your performance at school, and in the national examinations.

“I wish you good luck”.

By Urban L. Gibbs
Editorial from The Freeport News