MOMI LEARNS| Don’t pretend to be better than others

May 5, 2017 | Life, Only Berlin

Last April 26 was Firstborn’s School Recognition Day.  He placed second honors.  I attended the recognition together with my three other boys.  Sadly, my other son should have been part of the program as well but was stripped of all his privileges when he allegedly bullied a classmate.  My grade 7 boy received Needs Improvement grade in Conduct which meant he is no longer eligible for any honors.  He should have placed third given his consistent impressive academic grades.

Anyway, as we were walking toward the school auditorium, Second Son bumped into a classmate.  “What are you doing here?  Don’t tell me you got an award?” was the boy’s question to my son.  My boy had humbled himself in reply, “I am here for my brother.  I got none.” And though I was several steps away, I heard the classmate’s rather teasing answer, “Hahahaha.  Maynigo has no award.  Hahahaha.”

My 11-year-old boy, who must have felt the mockery thrown to his brother quickly asked the classmate, “How about you?  Why are you here?”  The classmate proudly replied, “I got perfect attendance award!” To which my Big Bunso uttered an exasperated snort, “That was it? Perfect attendance only?”

The classmate who was full of confidence that moment suddenly backed out and shied away.

Borrowed Feathers

Don’t pretend to be better than others

Don’t pretend to be better than others

This morning, I read to my 20-month-old son the story of the Borrowed Feathers.  Very timely that I could relate the story of the bird to that of the proud classmate.

Once upon a time, Zeus called all the birds together.  “I want to choose the best-looking bird to be the king to rule over the birds,” he said.  Each bird then started preening his feathers, fanning his tail and spreading his wings out wide to show off his beautiful feathers.  The sparrow looked at his drab feathers and decided he would have to make a plan.  He quietly hopped around the assembled birds, picking up one beautiful feather here and another there.  Then he stuck them in between his feathers until he became a rainbow of a bird, the brightest bird there!

At the appointed time all the birds gathered around Zeus to hear what he would say.  He passed in front of each bird.  Then he stopped in front of the sparrow and was just thinking of naming him the king. Suddenly there was a flurry of wings and great twittering among the birds as they realized that that rainbow bird had in fact stolen their feathers.  All the birds plunged down on him, each bird pecking off his own feathers. This left nothing but a little brown sparrow who had tried to win by cheating!

Moral of the Story

Don’t pretend to be better than others.

I felt for my Second Son.  He was definitely hurt of the missed opportunity because of one mistake.  Though he already apologized to the classmate he bullied, the mother of the classmate pushed that my boy gets a demerit.  Sadly, the prefect of discipline favored the aggrieved party and imposed a sanction to my son.  He was stripped of his honors.

My grade 7, from the way I observed it, got the recognition from his teachers being an A1 student.  I sensed the classmate who got a perfect attendance award was somehow envious of my Second Son.  And he felt victorious when he got an award while my boy got none.  However, his perfect attendance award didn’t make him better than my son.  Or perhaps I am just as hurt as my boy.


  1. Swayam Tiwari

    When we are unconvinced of our abilities, we preen and there we fail. The sparrow should have known that it has its own strengths and weaknesses. I wonder when we stop thinking very highly of ourselves.

  2. Martine

    I’m sorry your son felt bad about that. But kids learn, and it’s true that self-realization actually makes them more resilient, makes them stronger. I like that your harnessed that feeling through a learning from the Borrowed Feathers story. It’s something you and he can discuss from time to time, as you help him process his feelings and emotions in a safe place. This will build the trust between you two. Good luck, Berlin!

  3. Nilyn

    I think I would feel bad if that happens to my son too. But I’m glad that Kuya came to the rescue. As the eldest sister, I would also do the same if it happens to me and my sibs. I’m sure narealize na din ni Migs un mistake nya even before the encounter.

    • momiberlin

      I hope tlaaga na realize nya nawala sa kanya dahil sa bullying na yan. nway, there is still next school year. sana bumawi sya not para patunayan sa iba na kaya nya kundi for himself.

  4. Wendy

    Perfect attendance? Lol!

    • momiberlin

      di ba? perfect attendance?!? ehhehe. or bitter lang ako.


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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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