Stalking the Issues: Releasing Character
For the longest time I have been dealing with my own development by focusing my attention on two types of character origins. The first has to do with the issues that arise out of the issues that come from family because we all inherit strengths and weaknesses and it is the job of the current generations to improve on the former. The wonderful thing about doing this type of work is that no matter where you are in generations, the positive work that you do has an effect both ways, that is, that the generations before you and after you are affected when you release positive qualities. Since family is the foundation of world civilization, these issues are the ones that first arise when you are on a developmental journey. Indeed, most people never get through them and carry them throughout their entire life, but if you have done a considerable amount of growth, sooner or later family issues fade and then the next set come forth. So for instance, maybe your parents were overly critical by telling you all the time where you were weak, rather than at your strengths. Or maybe that they just were so concerned about what others thought, that you didn’t have room to experiment.
The second set of issues that appear are those that happen as a result of living in the world. These often occur when you enter school such as being bullied or being excluded. Being dominated by an external power is quite common. When you have already been strengthened and supported through working on family, then what you learn in the secondary experiences is empowerment which usually involves some kind of inclusion and service.
The third set of issues are not often mentioned in the literature about change, but they hold within them a person’s unique powers that cannot be accounted for by experience or inheritance. They seem instead to be unique to the person that give the world a great deal of variation. I can see, for instance, some common strengths and weaknesses that I share with my brothers, but the genetics don’t explain how my brother was much more gifted with exactness in painting, while I could do mathematics with great facility. We had the same parents, ate the same food, grew up in the same household, went to the same school, played the same games, and have many of the exact same gifts, but nothing in our experience or inheritance accounts for our diverse gifts. These innate differences that form our character are often where we can make the greatest contributions to the societies in which we live, so it seems to me that it is important for us to be watching for them early in the life of child and then giving them experiences so that they will develop.
While the overwhelming majority of things you do with children will be the same, it is important to realize that some of the activities can also be unique to that person based upon their propensity to display certain gifts. What is often difficult for parents, in this realm, is that they do not have the same gifts that their children have. So it seems to me that the way that can learn to help others to develop their own diversity is by first responding to your own unique gifts. You know when they are unique when they do not exist in other family members.
Now the extremely difficult part in this paradigm is when the diversity within us does not have any visible references in the culture around where we live. This can lead a child to feel like he is out of place or really weird when what is actually happening is that there is a potentiality latent within the person that is capable of changing everything around him. When the culture is extremely controlling and judgmental, the gifts are often unseen which lead people into rebelliousness and unhealthy life practices. If the environment is unstructured, then there will not be enough discipline for the character elements to emerge in a positive manner.
So the two keys seem to be, first, to find those elements that are unique to our ownselves and then really develop them fully, and then,second, to see the unique aspects of others, acknowledge them, and then encourage and give those variations the proper spaces to grow.