You are Unique - Just Like Everyone Else
Schools do not Teach, they Standardise
It is a sad fact that the adults children rely upon for guidance in their formative years, those they look up to and adopt as role models, are mostly completely unsuited to the task. These people, be they parents, teachers, doctors are simply repeaters; regurgitating over and over again what they themselves have been taught, without ever really questioning anything.
Doctors are not interested in why the person became ill, in fact, they aren’t interested in the “person” at all, only in the symptoms of the illness in the physical body that is presented to them. To them all bodies are the same, and each collection of symptoms has a standard, inevitably pharmaceutical or surgical remedy to “fix” it.
As for teachers, they too rarely have any interest in individual pupils. After all, they have a curriculum to dispense, and little time or allowance is made for specific student requirements. Plus, most of what is taught in schools is useless anyway. Repeated facts, statistics, dates and formulas, very little of which is useful for the life that the pupil will lead when school is over. In fact there are no life skills taught at all in most schools.
In reality, schools do not educate, they standardise, they homogenise, they produce products suited to society; conformists. They stifle individuality and creativity. True there are exceptions, the few who manage, despite the education system to break the mould, to be different, but unless those few become artists or rock musicians, they are quickly marginalised by the conformists and made to pay a heavy price for their “radical” views. In fact, it is often the case that the more formal education an individual acquires the less open minded and questioning they become.
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school" - Albert Einstein
Schools should educate pupils in how to develop critical thinking skills, to nurture their self-image, give them self confidence; encourage them to take risks and not to be afraid of failing in their endeavours.
How many children ever realise their true potential? How many have their dreams crushed, trampled upon or ridiculed by adults who say that they know so much better?
“You can’t do that”. “You’ll never make a living at that”. These adults have forgotten that they themselves as children once cherished non-conventional aspirations also, before these aspirations were drummed out of them by their own parents and teachers. This has in fact become a repetitive cycle; the cycle of unrealised dreams.
You are special - yes, you
We are all unique, so why does society put so much effort into trying to make us all the same?
People say that human beings are naturally competitive. This is untrue. Children are not naturally competitive. This is learned behaviour. Children do things for the joy of doing them, not to win or be better than another child. Human beings in their essence are joyous, cooperative, giving, loving and sharing. But all of this is drummed out of them at an early age, when children are groomed and prepared for the dog-eat-dog, hard, competitive world we live in. Rubbish!
Imagine doing things purely for the joy of doing them, and being nurtured and encouraged to do so, free of comparison to anyone else, or any yardstick. Comparison kills and stifles imagination and joyful creativity. You have to get 10 out of 10, be top of the class, pass your exams, jump higher, run faster, than anyone else. Why?
I realise that you might think me naïve and impractical, but in a more advanced society this is what would happen. In a truly civilised society, people would not compete against each other; they would cooperate with each other. They would be motivated not by what they can get for themselves, by personal gain, but by doing what would be in the best interests of the whole society; for the highest good of all.
A more advanced society would rejoice in our uniqueness, and schools would be places where we could each discover our unique gifts and develop them to their fullest potential without comparison to any expectation, or to any other unique individual. After all, how can you compare one unique creation to another unique creation? The very idea is nonsensical. Yet this is precisely what we do. And the pressure to conform and be “just like everyone else” is relentless from all sides.
Naïve and utopic as these ideas may seem, I believe that such a world is possible, and when the day comes for us to make contact with more advanced life forms from other planets and other dimensions, we may well see that their societies operate along the lines where everything is shared, people work for the good of all, and individual uniqueness is cherished and nurtured.
Until that time, remember that you are unique – just like everyone else.
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