The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

November 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Every human being is different.  We all know this.  It’s what makes the world such an interesting and wonderful place to live.  Unfortunately, too many times each human being is expected to conform to a certain standard.  They are expected to live their lives the exact same way as the person sitting next to them.  This is painfully prevalent within our public school system.  Every student is expected to complete the same tasks in the same way.  This creates a dull assignment and a dull world.

When an eclectic group of people gather to work, wonderful things can happen as long as the group expects them to be different and does not force each individual to become something he or she is not.  Have you ever tried to put a cube cinderblock into a round pipe?  It’s not going to fit because the cinderblock is built differently than the pipe but both are instrumental to our society; we all need walls and plumbing.

In Counterpane’s Upper School, students are expect to be themselves.  When these different people, with different interpretations and perspectives, converge to create something, a wonderful product is always created.  Different people can create something beautiful despite the challenges of their differences.  The picture above is of an art project that took place at Counterpane.  Each student was given a piece of paper and a section of the leaf and they were expected to draw what they saw, how they saw it, regardless of what anyone else saw or thought.

Each section of the leaf is completely different from the sections surrounding it.  Each section, by itself, is beautiful but it takes a new, powerful meaning when grouped together.  Placed together this piece of art is more beautiful than the original leaf.  While this is art, the concept truly represents what happens here every single day.  Every person has a very important job to do and without each other there would be no school, there would be no learning, there would be no life-changing experiences.  We are all individually gifted but without one another we are meaningless.  “We” are the reason we are here and the students of Counterpane have a great opportunity to experience this phenomena.

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