Comparing Children: an Impediment to Growth

This is a tale of three sisters growing up in Delhi in the 1960’s.   A true life experience which I share with you.
Imagine a scenario, when you have a short, fat, and depressed child who studies in the same school along with her extremely popular and intelligent older sisters.   The more the academic accolades the sisters got the more withdrawn and anxious the younger sibling became.   As the sisters continued to shine with each passing year, the poor younger sibling’s grades fell even further below.
The teachers of the school were dismayed when they saw how far behind the young girl had fallen.   They were perplexed and worried and wondered how best to help the young girl get out of her downward spiral.   They compared her unfairly with her sisters and this only escalated the problem.   Her mediocrity in all facets of her school life was an embarrassment for the entire family!
The young girl hated going to school every morning, as she knew that another miserable day awaited her.   She was tongue tied during class and knew that she would learn nothing the whole day!   This continued for months on end.   She continued to be pitied by all.   She had no friends either in school or at home.   She spent her time, dreaming and idolising her older sisters or compensating her depression by overeating.
However, nothing lasts forever!   One day the young girl came home from school crying her heart out.   She had been teased and bullied by her peers, as she had performed very poorly in the tests.   She locked herself in the room and cried her little heart out.   She finally faced the truth and realised that only she could change her life.   She understood that she would have to change her passive acceptance of all the comparisons, hateful innuendoes, and sarcastic remarks.   She had taken the first positive step!   She worked very hard to lose all her excess weight.   That helped her gain self-confidence.   Slowly and steadily, she began to study very hard to pass the class. She cleared...