Meritocracy : Triggering Mental Stress

A study finds that believing society is fair, can lead disadvantaged adolescents to act and engage in risky behavior. Since we enter the high school, a pressure to succeed and be amongst the top scorers is inevitable, it might be a child’s will or their parent’s expectations which push them to work harder and engage in a competitive environment.

A society that glorifies metrics leaves little room for human imperfections! From an early age, educational institutions identify and reward those students who demonstrate the most potential for academic success. However, most academic institutions fail to identify and develop abilities and potential of the gifted among the lower population. The more we believe in grades, the more we get into the stereotype trap.

How does meritocracy affect Mental Health?

It’s not always depression, children often face anxiety from too much pressure to succeed. While the race does not end up for educational purposes but, travels to every field where there is competition. Though the pressure continues to be strong at every age, children come into the trap more easily. Early signs of anxiety include- sleep deprivation, eating disorders, depression, excessive worrying, cheating, and burnout. They start losing interest in activities previously enjoyed or withdraw themselves from friends and family. The reason being, kids are generally unable to identify the root cause of being anxious or depressed, they may just complain about the physical symptoms, lack of maturity makes their mind weak to report the mental issues related to the same.

Living in extreme Meritocracy is exhausting, the current trends are based on impartial algorithms rather than subjective human appraisals. The same would appear to prevent the incursion of favoritism, nepotism, and other biases. The educational sector demands grades, though native intelligence and academic achievement do lift many poor students into college, especially where elite colleges are concerned, students from well-off families have a big advantage.

Let it be light for the kids, not every child is born to be amongst the high scorers, they may have special abilities which are yet to be explored and nourished for a profession. Underestimating a child based on his academic grades is nothing but draining a bright raw mind without knowing the abilities.

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