Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Vive la Différence

Given the number of people I've known with extraordinary talents who are so-called "learning disabled" and struggled a lot with their schooling, I'm more inclined to think that it's the teaching that is disabled rather than the learning. Standardized teaching methods can't possibly work for all the students all the time. I know that there are private or charter or Montessori schools that no doubt allow for and encourage the various learning styles and needs of their various students. But it seems this hasn't been so much the case in public school systems--and even in colleges, apparently. In 20 years of teaching creative writing to adults, I've encountered too many a bruised and battered creative impulse.

To expect a human being to thrive where his or her individuality is supressed is like expecting the whole world to...well, just be at peace, already! A peaceful world it does not make when "Let's all get along!" means, "You do what I want." A peaceful world in those terms would have to require everybody wanting the same thing. That could never work. What would work?

"Abraham" has a suggestion:
The ultimate experience is everyone having their experience and launching their individual rockets of desire, and the Universe yielding to all of them simultaneously. And everybody not worrying about what anybody else created...then allowing what they are wanting. What a world that is, when there are endless desirers who are allowing the fulfillment of their own desires.
I am reminded of my time in a psychiatric halfway house--not in residence, but on staff. Eighty to 90 percent of our residents were gifted with one sort of artistic capacity or another. One was phenomenal on the piano, another was a fine painter and a poet, for example. One heard the voices of the trees: she was medicated for that. And here I stand a couple of decades hence, having heard the watercress express its joy at being present at a book signing event I recently attended.

We aren't cookie cutter creations to say the least. We each possess unique inclinations, perspectives, and visions. Would that we'd always nurture, applaud, cherish, welcome--and lead to, speak to, teach to--the uniqueness and individual gifts we're here to express.

Vive la différence!


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