I have so many friends whose kids are now grown-ups, completing matric this year. And I am hearing about all their success and it is truly wonderful.
People probably won't let the newspaper or their friends know if their kid has failed, and those people and their kids need the most help.
Just to let you know that there are people around who can help you. Seek them out and ask them.
And if you don't find someone the first time around, keep trying.
And if your kid (or you) has failed and they need a shoulder to cry on, tell them to give me a call! I might have a long queue of people needing help, but we have the internet and we'll find a way to share and use it to help us.
As an entrepreneur in business for 21 years, I have failed many times, picked myself up, dusted myself off, perhaps given myself a pep talk or two, turned to my wife and close friends for help, sometimes engaged a psychologist or psychiatrist or social worker, learnt to do Tai Chi, meditation and Reiki to calm myself down and see things I would never have seen.
And I also failed first year at university (I changed degrees because of it), but I did a lot better at university that at school, and just because you did badly at school or university, doesn't mean that you must give up.
For me university was freedom.
At school, we pretty much had to tell the world what the teacher or education system had told us. At university, we finally got the opportunity to tell the world what we thought. And as we progress to postgraduate Honours and then Masters degrees, so that freedom became more and more and the world became a bigger and bigger "oyster".
And if you can't get into university, or you can't afford to go to university, then read a very difficult book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This book is about a very special university, called "the university of life".
If you're a failure, or even if you're a success, convince people to believe in you.
Show them you are special. Show them a project you've done, or an invention or something that makes you unique.
It doesn't matter what it is. It only matters that you are exceptional at it.
And keep at it.
The best things in life take time and effort.
And so far, I have now been to three schools, four universities and one tech, and on a number of other training programs in various parts of the world. I still want to do a doctorate one day. I don't give up when I "fail" and neither should you.
In any case, failure is a judgement by someone else of your "achievements". Edison and Tesla and Einstein and Lipschitz (me) failed many times before they achieved (or will achieve) greatness.
Life is incredible.
If it was perfect, it wouldn't be life.
Life is difficult. Life is painful. Life is costly, especially the financial mistakes (most mistakes seem to be financial in one way or another).
But life is also beautiful, challenging (in a positive way), and with good friends and good relationships, and with caring for oneself and one's family, one can also be happy with oneself and with what one does and has done.
If you need my help, please ask. I don't know if I can help, but I do know a lot of people and perhaps I can refer you to someone else.
And the Cape Times has hundreds of thousands of readers, so who knows, perhaps they'll publish your letter asking for help?
For the parents: if your child doesn't know what they want to study, or if they are drifting or if they can't find a job, please also let me know and I'll organise a webinar (an online seminar) for them all.
I have an approach which has worked for many people looking for work.
For the kids and university students and drop outs and out of work people: the previous paragraph applies to you too.
I can't offer you a job, but maybe I can help you invent one.
So remember: we are all in this together.
Just as sunny weather ("good") or rainy ("bad", until it doesn't rain and we have a drought) or storms or earthquakes affect us all, and just as pollution affects us all, so too positive and negative energy affects all of us. Without earthquakes the world wouldn't exist. As painful as earthquakes are, they are a part of life on this place that we call home.
If you need help, ask. If you ask, and the person you ask says "get your head down" or "get to work and you'll feel better", or if you feel that you can't ask, then ask someone else.
And if you have asked "everyone" and you are still at a loss, then learn to meditate. Join your local meditation group and learn to meditate as this slow process is the fastest way for us to truly learn to understand ourselves, IMHO.
Good luck in all your futures and in all your endeavours.
There is so much work that we all need to do, especially YOU, to make this world a better and safer and cleaner place.
Just because you can't find a job doesn't mean that the job doesn't exist.
It just means that you need to invent the job.
Oh, and if you are depressed, I understand. I was in "the valley of the shadow of death" (refer Psalm 23) for 18 months a few years ago during my depression recovery "process".
I know what it's like; and I discovered my true friends, colleagues and mentors who helped me through it.
And I know it's a very scary place. But you (we) are here for a reason.
You (we) need to find that reason and act on it.
Love and respect to you all, especially the "failures" who pick themselves up, and make themselves into successes, no matter how hard it is, or how long it takes,