When people think of the word “personality”, the definition tends to be the sum total of what a person is all about. A wide array of adjectives will follow suit, usually meant to peg a person in some category or another, making it easy to differentiate and associate them into types. Words like “crazy”, “fun”, “serious” are the usual words to sum up a person’s personality. Ultimately though, one’s “personality” is how a person is remembered. It is amusing to think though that considering how important this factor is about you, we treat it as a by-product of how other people see or think about us. It is almost as if it is something you have no control over.
No wonder we are prey to other people’s judgment and unconsciously allow the media to dictate so much of how we must look like, what standards we set and even the manner of how we communicate.If your personality is really what other people will remember about you, how do you think your friends and family will describe you? Is the word you’ll use to describe yourself the same word they’ll use to describe you? Is the legacy you aim to leave behind, the very one other people will associate with you?Our personality is the mark we leave the world and really, the only thing we have control over. How others perceive us depends on how deliberate we are and how long we have meditated on what really is the very essence of ourselves that we wish to share with those around us. It is a must that we see it as something we must carefully craft and become. Prioritizing working on your personality is acknowledging how important YOU are to the world. It entails careful attention to what philosophy we allow to shape our lives and the experiences we choose to stretch us. It means actively discovering parts of yourself that would otherwise have remained hidden if it were never given a chance to be sharpened and dealt with. It means that we can choose to recognize our fears and say we want to conquer them. It also means recognizing that "it" factor only you possess, and then have the guts to proudly offer it to the service of something greater.As an educator, I find that this is the very purpose we serve. Learning is not about being driven by how many concepts we manage to cram in our students's brains. It's not about them memorizing facts and earning that top spot in order to become number one. As educators, our purpose is to expose our students to a wide array of experiences and stories so that every soul in our classroom has a wealth of material to find pieces of themselves in. In discussing Shakespeare, students get to know how much of these complex human experiences they empathize with or even how much of who they are is echoed in the words of the great poets and novelists. The aim is to bring as many mirrors to students for them to discover parts of themselves that have never been accessed until that one topic. As educators, we are in the business of creating opportunity. It is our work to provide students with the opportunity to bring out the fighter in them when they struggle to understand a mathematical problem and allow them to come out conquering those mountains in the end of every term.But the struggle again is to remember this when the onslaught of requirements in the academic world dominates over the essence of what the educational experience should be about. Instead of character education and prioritizing the shaping of every student's unique personality, we become slaves to the system and leave personality and character as an after-thought.I am afraid that this cycle will continue to perpetuate and result in more individuals who, instead of being nurtured by education, feel cheated and discouraged in the process. If students realize too late that their very resource lies within themselves and that time is of the essence, we waste not only their raw potential,with all the surface requirements of the academe, we waste precious time as well- the most non-renewable resource.This is why carving out a separate institution for the sole purpose of character development is the legacy me and my colleagues wish to leave behind. As educators, it is just as essential to make opportunities to focus solely on character development and have individuals carve out time to work only on themselves as people, without the pressure of the many constructs society presses on them.Life should be a journey of discovery into the many wonderful things life has to offer. This starts with the very discovery of what one's self has to offer the world. After all, your personality is the very lens you view the world through and is the force that creates the opportunities life will open up for you.