Diversity of Talent necessary in our communities

Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability…at the heart of the challenges, is to reconstitute our sense of ability and intelligence…” Sir Ken Robinson

This statement resonated with me instantly…and I agree that at times, education interferes and stifles our natural creativity.  I am reminded of that song by Harry Chapin.  Some teachers really are “real” teachers, where others are not, and this is an example.  Education has to be at it’s best, beneficial to the individual and help them flourish.  I have friends who were raised in a house of artists, and their work is so great and so flowing, I believe they were also home schooled…and it made all the difference in the world.

Flowers are Red
by Harry Chapin

The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and started to draw
He put colors all over the paper
For colors was what he saw
And the teacher said.. What you doin’ young man
I’m paintin’ flowers he said
She said… It’s not the time for art young man
And anyway flowers are green and red
There’s a time for everything young man
And a way it should be done
You’ve got to show concern for everyone else
For you’re not the only oneAnd she said…
Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seenBut the little boy said…
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every oneWell the teacher said.. You’re sassy
There’s ways that things should be
And you’ll paint flowers the way they are
So repeat after me…..And she said…
Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seenBut the little boy said…
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every oneThe teacher put him in a corner
She said.. It’s for your own good..
And you won’t come out ’til you get it right
And are responding like you should
Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said.. and he saidFlowers are red, green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seenTime went by like it always does
And they moved to another town
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found
The teacher there was smilin’
She said…Painting should be fun
And there are so many colors in a flower
So let’s use every oneBut that little boy painted flowers
In neat rows of green and red
And when the teacher asked him why
This is what he said.. and he saidFlowers are red, green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen.Layout, design, images, and user-contributed text are © Copyright 1996-2009 HarryChapin.com: The Harry Chapin Archive.
“Oh, if a man tried to take his time on earth and prove before he died what one man’s life 

Comments (2) »

  • Leon says:

    That poem is a sad indictment of the education system. My dad was a teacher and everyone who he ever taught thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. I wonder if it was the fact that for art classes sometimes he just had us participate in “doodle time”?

  • Sheri says:

    I think as much as we set up systems, that it is still driven by individuals…the individual can not only impact a person’s thoughts for life (good or bad), but can be a key in unlocking creativity that allows one to flourish and not fear expression or fear what is in themselves…

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