Have too many passions to settle on just one? Perfect. Your unique mix of interests may turn out to be your very own super power.
Emile Wapnick makes the case for celebrating the power of the multipotentialyte in her 12-minute TED Talk. Explaining her life-long frustration of diving into topics passionately, thinking at long last she’d found her calling only to be pulled in yet another direction at the expense of a career and the investment of time and money; and feeling bad about it because our culture expects and demands focus. Her points are relevant to argument for liberating schools from their narrow focus, especially in the majority of public schools forced to focus on language and math because of testing.
Most of us are told from the outset we are to become something. One thing. Pursue “a” career. Don’t get distracted. These pursuits are often at the expense of other interests. Interests which may seem flowery or short on financial gain, but they fuel our hearts and souls. Wapnick argues that innovation occurs on the boundaries of interests. Multipotentialytes are synthesizers, capable of merging ideas to create something bold and new. These are the very people who will make the difference in the coming years. The question is, will are learning institutions be able to adept fast enough to liberate and enrich the passion of our young people so many, not just the lucky few, can evolve the world to a better place. How else can we move from the silos of politics and religion that divide us? We must do a better job on agreeing to disagree while getting along until solutions arise because we are open to the possibilities on the boundaries.