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We must begin embracing originality

Dear Sir,

The May 21 Royal Gazette editorial titled “Graduating from eye for an eye” for the graduating students was in my opinion a good article. Like the more recent article on May 23, titled “Bermuda's schools, we salute you”, it jumped all over the place.

I suppose because the editor was disturbed by the mix of emotions from celebrating the National School Salute and the graduates and then grieving at the same time over the tragic events leading to two young deaths and one missing man over the same weekend.

More to the point of his example in the editor's first article about Kurt Vonnegut Jr, the author and lecturer, he somehow in my mind, unintentionally wrote the two articles as one — like a sequel. Vonnegut through his unique life experiences became an extraordinary person and his character is infused through his writing and lectures.

Being original is not often taught, but is the key behind Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and most the outstanding and successful people like the author. It is good to earn a degree to attend higher institutions of learning, but to use the learning and decipher how it can work for you is the kind of mastery needing to be accomplished by the student.

To be able to learn Newton's theory or Einstein's theory on relativity may help to decipher issues of their day, but to have the mind with an ability like Newton or Einstein gives the power to deal with not only matters of their day but also of your own. The old saying is: “Give a man a fish, he has food for a day; teach a man to fish, he has food for a lifetime.”

We as a society are producing young people and minting established thoughts and ideas; in many ways, producing robots that, like parrots, will repeat our values, beliefs, fears and inhibitions. Our politics, likes and aspirations are all preconditioned, where the expectation of how one should think and behave is enforced and stepping outside the box is viewed as insane. Worse, society finds a way collectively to punish difference.

We must begin the process of embracing originality; it can't be left to a Chewstick experience. Besides the arts, there is an art of living, which is in touch with real taste, real feelings or, put simply, inalienable truth. Society boxes itself around thoughts that are often not connected to truth but enforced as beliefs that have become its truths.

The right to question and even the practice of questioning must be encouraged because it leads to real truth. But how many organisations do we know that consider those who question as impostors? It's truly now the time for the impostors; otherwise we will never fix our world because the untruths are unsustainable.


Original mind: Steve Jobs

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Published May 28, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated May 28, 2016 at 3:44 am)

We must begin embracing originality

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