Everybody has been a nobody at one time or another. This is universally true. Unless you live in NYC or LA –in which case, since your city can get by simply on its initials, you are already an ‘anybody’ (bypassing the ‘nobody’ stage altogether). For the rest of us, however, we rank somewhere on the nobody-anybody-somebody-everybody scale.
In an effort to bring the wisdom of the ages to our collective quest for human destiny, here are the top three things that everybody who is anybody needs to know:
1. The zeitgeist. You’re in it so you had better know what it is.
2. Now that you know what it is, disregard it altogether.
3. Everybody who is anybody knows that nobody is somebody until they know they are everybody.
As an educator, I realize that the above ‘top three’ list is a colossal oversimplification. It is my conformist attempt to follow the zeitgeist of this minute’s blogging culture just to get your attention. Since you are still reading, I am patting myself on the back for becoming a somebody who has mastered this trick.
Tricks aside, my hope is that those of us charged with the education of human beings recognize this ‘top three list’ as a good educational conversation starter. To restate the above in more specific educational lingo, schools need to be cognizant of the following:
- Trends come and go; genius lasts forever.
- Genius rests in every human; discovering and sharing that genius is the purpose of an education.
- Narrowly defining what to learn, how to learn, and when to learn may have been the educational zeitgeist of a bygone era, but today we need more.
Our road to enlightenment via the educational systems in place has been fraught with distractions. The detours have sent us in unintended directions.
All too often, the notion that every child gets a trophy replaced the value of any child actually earning one. We must re-route ourselves from this infatuation with over-blown personal achievement because it has come at the expense of an under-sized recognition of why we are here in the first place. (…how many Ivy league acceptances did your violin-playing, Mandarin speaking, three-sport-travel-team competing, hospital-volunteering child receive?) It’s not about #me. It’s about #we.
Thus, to everybody who’s anybody in education; let’s do our part along this shared journey. Let’s help each other, as well as those we teach, along this path to transcendence. Our educational evolution demands that we become our collective best selves in order to make this world a better place.
Everybody’s doing it. Are you?