People tend to have a single metric by which they think everyone should be measured. That metric tends to include things like going to a good school, getting good grades, getting jobs in the categories we deem to be “important” ones, excelling in activities on our list of “the right” activities.
The problem with that is that it leads to comparative judgements of other people that can be very harmful. When we have a single metric, the conclusion that A is not as strong as B on the metric (e.g. A was not a good student or didn’t go to college) too easily leads to A is not as valuable as B. B is somehow “better” than A. Sadly, we give no thought to the effect of those evaluations on the the people who come up short on the metric – particularly when those judgments are made about young people.
Single metric evaluation fails to recognize that we each have different gifts and each of our tasks is to identify our gifts and use them to the best our ability. My gift is not “better” or “worse” than someone else’s gift; we are all parts of one Body and everyone’s gifts have a part to play in furthering God’s plan.
If we are tempted to focus on others, we could use that temptation in positive ways. Often we can be of enormous aid in helping other people to recognize their gifts, and, when we have the opportunity, helping them to develop those gifts. That would be a whole lot more productive and loving than focusing on people’s failure to satisfy our metric.