I will be honest. I have spent most of my life feeling I didn’t quite make the mark in pretty much everything I tried. I didn’t excel at anything but was interested in everything. I put it down to being in the shadow of a brother who was exceptional. I wouldn’t say he was a natural genius because he has worked too hard for everything he has accomplished. To dismiss him as a genius would be to overlook his hard graft and courage. I never felt any animosity as he shared his ideas and education with me, both of us talking way into the night many a time over the years. We still do! He has always been a great support in pushing me to go beyond myself in the way that he does. He has never sugared the pill and always thrown up a harsh lit mirror to my face and called me on my bullshizzle. But I thought my life was a by-product of this situation.
After watching Emilie’s talk I felt an easing of that panicky burden instantly, and I have carried that around forever! So why have I felt a failure almost since I clasped my first chubby stump? (That’s not as rude as it sounds, kids from the 70s will know what I mean). I thought back to all the papers and discussions I have read over the years, particularly the mesmerising and hilarious Ken Robinson. (Here’s a treat for you!)
It is quite clear that the cultural system we have all been raised in is no longer fit for purpose. In fact, the system is practically setting us up to fail from the start. We are raised to get an all-round education, deepen our understanding through further education, secure a job then work our way through the ranks of that company/industry to collect our pension and look back at a lovely, linear life well lived in chronological order. Satisfying!
However, education is no longer a right for all due to the greed and tinkering of successive governments. There is no loyalty shown to employees, with liveable wages and survivable pensions heaped on the same pyre as a job for life. As for an average job even possibly getting you on the property ladder… well I’ll leave that right there with you! Naturally, when this utopia that we saw our parents live is unattainable for us, we feel we have failed.
I wish all of you to watch Ms Wapnick’s talk and free yourself from this unnecessary burden. Our generation, and successive generations, have to create a new reality for ourselves to prevent us from feeling inferior to another generation’s example. The new reality is we live non-linear lives, dropping in and out of education and employment throughout our lives. This is not wrong! We will have several, maybe many different jobs and careers along the way. Our opportunities are more difficult to recognise and we have to be flexible and experimental. The status quo is not going to revert back ‘to type’. The next generation will hopefully respond to this massive shift in the working and educational life of the modern society, forcing change in pension and payment arrangements.
We may be entering a new era of the Vocational and the Multipotentialites being recognised as different, but complimentary, skill types. The working and educational world needs to respond to this now if they want financial and pension institutions to survive and do their job of caring for the successive generations adequately. Don’t feel a failure, celebrate being a ‘Multipotentialite’ and enjoy the beautiful fusion of your life skills!