'Who is Dave Consiglio?' My stomach dropped - it couldn't possibly be good news for my professor to call me out, by name, in a crowded lecture hall. I sheepishly raised my hand. The professor glared at me. 'You got a forty.' I was speechless. Forty. The word seemed to echo. The professor dropped the thick stack of exams on his desk and stared at me again. Forty. My life is over. I'm finished. I'm going to fail out of college. What will my parents think? How am I going to explain this to them? The silence dragged on for what felt like an hour. 'And that was the high score.'
I was too mortified to recognize what he had just told me. My score, while abysmally low, was the top of the class. Then it hit me. Rejoice! I wasn't just saved, I was golden. I was going to get an A in that class.
Then, I looked around and saw the faces of my classmates staring at me.
They were not happy.
I was so self-absorbed, so engrossed in my own failure, and then my own triumph, that I had thought nothing of them. But the horror I had been feeling just moments before was the horror each and every one of them were now feeling.
They resented me. Some of them despised me. They saw my success as their failure.
When you find success, what should you do with it?
I can only tell you what I did - I became an educator. I started tutoring and helped many of those who glared at me that day to become better students. Teaching became my calling, my career, my life's work.
And along the way, I learned that sharing what you know, passionately and with great enthusiasm, melts disdain, dissolves resentment, and engenders joy. Those you teach may never love what you love with the same excitement, but most will find their hearts open to the new experiences you're sharing.
And that is well worth doing.