Monday, May 18, 2009

Being Yourself....

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think this quote hits the nail on the head. The so-called transformation starts with parenting strategies by the family, goes on to influences at school and then slowly to a lot of obsessed and maddening groups in the society. I'd be surprised if I come across anyone who thinks they have managed to get away untouched by the society! But, yes, the degree of influence varies. I wonder what it really takes to remain oneself when a huge crowd of people are desperately trying to 'chisel' you according to their preferences. The worst of such a situation is when people don't just share their 'perceptions' but emphasize that what they're saying is 'right' while what others are saying is 'wrong'! Education should be about learning to think for ourselves, discovering our own minds and what is 'good' for us. That is probably one of the most fundamental and radical of changes that we need to bring about in our society if each of us is to remain what we 'are'. Life is indeed a paradox that demands we manage ourselves while also managing our relationships with others (whose influences we are, therefore, constantly going to be subjected to).


Update: @davidgurteen discovered this post and liked it. He spread the word on Twitter and also messaged me on Twitter and pointed me to a related - wonderful -quote that I must add to this post! :-)

Thanks, David! I think this quote must be read and understood by all those who are patronizing.

Children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world then anyone else could make for them. - John Holt (American Educator)


Here's another related post from Luis. (The video is on the lines of what I've dreamed of as 'KM for Schools')


Ashish Surana said...


this was awesome :) not that I didn't know or follow this but never knew if someone can write it so simply.

Lets hope that everyone understands this, though i know even the so called "brightest" people don't know what to do !!

Yayaver said...

education broadens the mind.It is there to build our life not career. It is very hard to fight to the world which constantly not only try to change from exterior looks to internal thoughts.

Always shouting 'Be a rebel' without knowing against what they are revolting.........
nice post.

Nimmy said...

Thanks a lot for the comments, Ashish and Yayaver! :-) Glad you folks were able to relate to the post!

This post does seem to have struck a chord or two...!

Yayaver said...

Change ist the Law.Growth is optinal.Choose Wisely..

Zeph said...

Nimmy, this is a timely and evocative post. I think it raises the two most important questions of our age. First: how can we learn to exchange opinions and grow by that exchange(particularly think about this on a Palestine Israel level - the challenge is audacious), and second how do we invigorate our children to imagine and create rather than emulate the past. How would the syllabuses of our schools need to change to accommodate this outlook? Innovation and creativity is not only critical for an economy to flourish but essential to our survival and the health of the planet. A change in the direction you call for can be justified from multiple perspectives and it makes sound public policy.

Nimmy said...

Honored to see your comment, Zeph! Catching up with your latest post now...! And hopefully more of Charles Handy! :-)

John Hovell said...

great post! let's all continue to think about ways to move in this direction... maybe the post here ( is one option to continue the conversation... thanks!