Before we get you to step into the waters, first take a moment to reflect on the following question;
- What about uniqueness?
- What does being unique mean to you?
- Why does it even matter?
Everyone might all have a different definitions of what uniqueness is about, but for at least, we are sure that there is a convergence point when it comes to its application. As according to Oxford English dictionary, it defines uniqueness as the quality of being the only one of the kind while as, “uncle” Google defines uniqueness as the quality that makes you stand out from all the rest. Basing on such definitions, we took the liberty of digging up examples of young people we thought fit the above description or were incredibly outstanding. These include;
1. Alestair Arthur Blick who started racing at four years and was a pioneer Ugandan kid rider.
2. Marsaii Martin the 14 year old Black-ish star is set to become the youngest executive producer in Hollywood’s major motion picture history with her debut film, “Little”.
3. Esther Okade the 10-year-old math genius that enrolled in college in 2015 (source – CNN).
4. Darci Lynne farmer the child ventriloquist that won season twelve of the NBC competition show America’s Got Talent at age 12 and the runner-up of America’s Got Talent: The Champions at age 14.
Judging from the above examples we came to believe that the fore mentioned child examples at their tender ages were able to stand out because they were more open to new possibilities and possibilities altogether, had the ability to follow through on their creative ideas thus honing their uniqueness right from a tender age. This gave them a firm foundation _ an avenue of establishing themselves, further pursuing and succeeding in their areas of interest.
“Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things”Steve jobs
From the above mentioned we wonder;
How will young people be able to hone their uniqueness?
Why you should care? Really take a moment to reflect on this: why do you concern yourself with what others think about you? You are a unique, gifted, and special individual. That is a fact. Now let that be your starting point and your living point. We are of the view that for a young person to fully be able to fully hone their uniqueness there is need for enlisting the help of an adult or a mentor because we believe that since the young person is incapable of achieving uniqueness singlehandedly, the joint effort of the child and the parent or guardian will achieve the much-desired results. Below is what we believe could help hone uniqueness in a young person putting emphasis on the role the adult has to play.
1. Encourage young people to embrace what they like to do, what interests them, and what makes them happy. Uniqueness could come from interests that include the subtle signs of interest.
2. Help them realize that they don’t need to worry about being ‘like everyone else”. Encourage them when they feel challenged, praise and reward, the young children and they will want to repeat the experience.
3. For the parent or guardian, desist from clinging on to idealized visions for young people. Curb the urge to live vicariously through your child — children are not meant for us to live out our fantasies.
4. Be mindful about expressing disappointment in your child’s non-ordinary interests. For example if they would rather play the piano than hang out and play video games. Validate your child’s interests only then will uniqueness be achieved.
5. Let your comparison be in a careful manner because comparison limits uniqueness. Young people who constantly show disapproval in comparison to others will feel the judgmental pressures from you. This will in return arouse low self-esteem and harbouring of deep resentment. The child will be less open to new possibilities and definitely won’t want to take the risk of being judged. Comparison is indeed a thief of joy.
6. Teach your child to make positive choices, and praise them for good deeds, behaviours and positive traits they possess this will help you realize the child’s full potential hence fully realizing uniqueness.
7. Also, the adults (Parents/ Guardians) should set their minds solely on seeking out the best ways to help the children achieve their fullest potential.
In conclusion, we hope this has been quite helpful and sincerely hope that a child will be encouraged to hone their uniqueness right from a tender age because as they grow up and are subjected to judgmental pressures from others and don’t want to take the risk of being judged as weird.
Written by: Nabayinda Juliet and compiled by: S.K Emmanuel
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