Learn to play the game, but don’t let it change who you are.

0 Flares Filament.io 0 Flares ×

(This post could also be called “Forget everything you learned in elementary school)

For most of us, the majority of our young lives are spent learning to “fit in” and “not make waves”.  Our strengths are only encouraged, it seems, when they meet the criteria of accepted strengths on some imaginary list.  This is done, theoretically, to help prepare us for the real world of being a grown up where the pressures to “fit in” and “not make waves” are often very real.

That is, of course, if you want to be a part of the “fit in” and “not make waves” crowd.  The expectation is that we all do.  Well-meaning parents, friends and teachers all operate from the perspective that we, at some very early age, have agreed to be a part of the fit-in crowd as the goal.  Most of us subconsciously do agree to be a part of the fit-in crowd goal after years of attempted, and ultimately fruitless, rebellion.

What about the few who don’t give in to the brainwashing?  In school, we are instructed to raise our hands, line up and wait take our turn.  Let’s cast aside the percentage of brainwash holdouts who do so because they are simply wired wrong, and destined for a life on the wrong side of the law.  I’m talking about those true individuals who see through the charade and realize that NOT being a part of the fit-in crowd is the path to true happiness and success.

For my 8 year old daughter, things have been a bit of a struggle, as she got her Dad’s stubbornness (and fortunately, her Mother’s looks!), which has caused her to spend more than her fair share of time in the principal’s office lately.  In fact, at the risk of losing my (imagined) “bad boy” image, she spent more time in the office in one week recently than I did my entire scholastic career.  To be fair, her teachers and administrators have been amazing, and we couldn’t ask for more from them.  It’s just that this environment has been built around efficiency and anonymity, not free spirits and children that are constantly asking “why”.

Understanding the system, but really realizing the amazing traits she possesses, we haven’t punished her for these issues, in fact, my advice to her recently was “learn to play the game, but don’t let it change who you are”.  I will be watching closely to ensure she doesn’t change who she is.  She is going to need those skills to conquer a world I just hope to make a dent in.

0 Flares Filament.io 0 Flares ×