What a Foolish Hare I Am This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 18, 2013
In 8th grade, I tried out for the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony. At the time, I was the first chair flutist in my school band and had thought I was already better than everyone else. A friend of mine, who was in a lower seat than me, had already been accepted into the symphony. Compared to her, I felt confident that I could get in. I picked up my favorite song, the same one I used to make 1st chair in my band, and on the day of the audition, I pretty much walked into the room with my nose in the air.
To my surprise, I received a rejection letter in the mail. I didn’t understand what went wrong or how there were so many others who were better than me. I cried for days and complained the audition hadn’t been fair.
Weeks later, this failure had gradually subsided until one day, I was helping my mom do some cleaning around the house. As I was restacking our bookshelves, I came across a worn book, The Tortoise and the Hare. I remembered reading the story a long time ago, but I had never thought much of it back then. As I flipped through the yellowed pages, I recalled how a hare, who had ridiculed a slow-moving tortoise, was challenged by him to a race. The hare, confident of winning, quickly left the tortoise behind and decided to take a nap halfway through the course; when he awoke, however, he found that the tortoise had already finished the race. I chuckled at the foolishness of the rabbit, and all of a sudden, I realized that the old fable exactly described my own situation. I had overlooked everyone else before my audition. I had failed to work as hard as I could because of my overconfidence. I had been that foolish rabbit.
I realize now that I had let arrogance cloud my eyes, and in the end, just like the rabbit, when I finally awoke from my slumber and entered reality, I saw that I had paid the price for it. From my experience, I have learned to never again compare myself to others, but instead, only to myself, and to challenge myself to do the best that I can possibly do.
So instead of giving up and moping over my failure, I decided to pick myself up from my fall, challenging myself with more difficult pieces and practicing for hours on end. This time, I would push myself to my own limits, not to anyone else’s. The next year, I auditioned again and was not only accepted into the group, but was chosen to serve as the principal flutist for the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony.
My performance skills were improved immensely; soon after the audition, I achieved the highest ranking in the Ohio Solo and Ensemble Contest. What I had once regarded as my failure has in the end served as a pivotal point in my journey to success.

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arikkols said...
Apr. 25, 2013 at 10:21 pm
great lesson to be learned! 
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