A work from a reluctant minion-A A +A
Friday, August 3, 2012
AS an educator, a great part of my work is to scout for potentials, then push them to their limits. The Jesuits would call this challenge as “magis” or the call to do more and be more, emphasizing that mediocrity is never an option.
Every year, I get to handle a bunch of naturally gifted kids. I tell you, it’s such a privilege but at the same time a challenge to work with these little geniuses. I call them my minions. Some of them take me seriously and work on becoming the best of who they can be, while others just put their gifts to waste. A sad reality.
Anyway, I had this student who’s genius in his own right. He has natural gifts for music and writing. One time I kind of forced him to write something. Here’s what he handed over:
With stacks of readings and a pen in hand, I was at a standstill. Eight hundred words into my essay and I find myself speechless. And then the inquisitive child in me surfaces and asks why I am forced to write. Why must a man bother to narrate the business of the world? Or at least do so in a climate with such burdening pressure and most intricate but exhausting detail?
And then I think of the artist, of art. If a painter were to be forced to paint, his canvas may color, but it is highly unlikely to be his masterpiece. If a lyricist were compelled to write, a song might emerge, but probably not the best he has made. If God were forced to make us, we would not be the precious creation He sees us to be. For it is not necessity that delivers art, but willful expression.
Talking from personal experience, I find that most people function better when they act freely, or when they feel that they are in control. Is this because we detest the pressures of subordination or hunger for power and authority? I think not. I think it is simply because the level of our expressiveness peaks when nothing limits or holds us back.
God has planted the seed of beauty in each person, and this seed will ripen and bloom each time one pours his very being out and shares it with the world. This is true expression. Some call it talent, others call it faculty. I believe it is just men doing what God put them in this world to do.
Now sir, let me excuse myself, for I need to find that seed and finish my essay.
Now tell me, isn’t he brilliant? He is quite a deviant little scamp whose defiance is too subtle to be noticed yet too deep to be ignored.
He even got me to thinking for a second there and almost convinced me that I was wrong to force him. Someday, he’ll thank me for pushing him. Or not.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 04, 2012.