36. Top Dog

Top DogFireplace Blog Pic
Your child being the top of the class in an average school, is better than being in the middle of the class in a good school. (Richard Garner – Independent Education 24th September 2013) Those children who were top of their primary school class do best at Secondary school.
Another way of putting it – as long as the child is top of the class: it does not matter what standard the class is. The emphasis is on being at the top. Being at the top of the class gives the student confidence.
There is also the other side of the message particularly in primary school that whatever the child does is done well. Everything is fantastic. Nothing is bad. Everything is good. Intelligent children come home to ask parents was what they did really well done? Or was it that they just did it? Top dog.
Sport also emphasises being no 1. The no 1 team, & the no 1 athlete. People can remember Andy Murray winning Wimbledon.
Perhaps who he played in the final. But who came 3rd? There is the other message that sport is everyone and that anyone can take part. It is not about winning. It is about participating.

What about the rest. Being number one means that you have a group of kids who are behind the number one child to feel that they are number one of something. The same with all the other sports persons who make up the event. The no 1 tennis player has to have 100 other tennis players in the rankings to be no 1.

Perhaps this conundrum comes from the primitive / ‘civilised’ condition of the human race in the 21st Century.
Top dog is the primitive version of humans. We have to acknowledge the essential primeval self. Having to survive, compete. Survival of the fittest. It is where humans come from. But the modern version of humans wants to avoid wars, be fair, be social, and have equal opportunity for all. A democracy.
To fit the primitive into the civilised is a problem. It cannot go. The two have to uncomfortably live side by side. Jostling for position. Top of the class and the rest of the class. Wimbledon winner and the other players.
Which version of us is winning appears to change moment by moment. Top Dog.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2013
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.

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