If we are to expect and nurture the best from our students, it is important that each child feels a strong sense of self. Without a healthy sense of self, children tend to mimic and become what they see in others. In contrast, with a solid grasp of one’s own individuality comes a genuine confidence and belief in one’s skills and personality. Confidence leads to success. Success leads to more confidence, increased talent, skill, understanding of the world, and countless positive attributes, including integrity. A strong sense of self also offers students room to accept and celebrate others as the genuine individuals they are. Acceptance leads to compassion, forgiveness, and collaboration skills—social harmony.
When a program or school specifically fosters the individuality of its students, the results are significant and evident. Students who experience a genuine sense of individuality in their school setting begin to discover what they really love, who they are, which skills they possess, which skills they want to acquire, and what they want to learn. These students are also confident in their own thinking. They have the freedom to think for themselves because each child’s individuality is embraced and celebrated among classmates and teachers. Individuality blossoms in each student. Confidence and integrity increases as students experience daily success in various realms and are allowed to be themselves. Individuality becomes a trend as students begin to see others’ creativity, ingenuity, and willingness to attempt the unconventional. And failure is seen as an avenue to keep trying—students are not afraid to try, because they’ve experienced their classmates surviving failure with a smile.
When individuality is honored and celebrated, a group of people becomes a vibrant, fun, exciting world, and productivity abounds. Innovation is common, and a celebratory feeling for life, learning, and interaction drives the group forward. Consider how far we could be in fifty years if children worldwide felt like this every day. What new inventions, what medical progress could be made if, at an early age, a sense of limitless ability was instilled in every child? And what if each of us worked passionately within the field we loved most? What if each of us, as individuals, believed in who we are—our own talents, our strengths, our ability to learn and acquire skills that serve our interests? What Could Be?
An authentic sense of individuality is almost impossible to foster in a setting that cultivates sameness. Therefore, we must challenge such settings and begin to implement strategy that directly enhances individuality. Students who attend programs that enhance individuality will more likely grow to be happy adults who pursue passions, have the skills necessary to seek personal satisfaction and make valuable contributions to our changing society.