The Element is a book celebrating human gifts. Someone once asked why does God create a universe so big, what’s the point? Briefly speaking, it’s one of the simplest ways to show how powerful and good God is. You just need to lift your eyes at night and you see how great God is. The more scientists study, the more we’re amazed. It’s the same for humans I think. God is so creative and he gives everyone gifts so different and unique, we can’t even recognise them sometimes. The Element argues very convincingly that we should observe them with an open mind and look at ourselves and other people more carefully.
At the beginning, Ken Rosinson explains that a lot of the time, people are grouped into “good” and “bad” students according to school standards in a “brutal” way. The standards are a mirror of the needs of the society. Societies need engineers, therefore, maths is important in school. Students who are good at maths become good students and the rest are under big pressure. But few people notice or care that they’re good at playing guitar, looking after animals or tidying rooms. But this has changed. Did you hear that Marie Kondo who I posted about a few months ago was ranked the top 100 influential people in the world along with President Obama? Her element is exactly that – tidying rooms! It might sound ridiculous, but she is happy and successful. She is even famous now!
I was introduced to a lot of people who are talented in various ways in the book. Their life stories are fascinating. There are about 80 real life examples – I counted them page by page!
The Element is a great book (with a British sense of humour), addressing “non-confirmed” individual lives, as well as problems and solutions for schools. However, after reading it twice, I realise that it doesn’t touch the foundation of this celebration of human diversity. Yes all talents should be treated equally and developed with confidence, but that’s just your opinion, why does it matter to everyone? Why do I care? I think because God cares! The Great Designer gives different ‘elements’ to us and we should cherish them and use them with Him in mind.
The book makes me want to not give up hope to become a teacher, because it really is one of the most exciting and meaningful jobs that literally transform people’s lives. It also teaches me look at myself and people around in a new light. I’m still not sure what is exactly my ‘element’, but it’s very exciting to think that I’m walking towards discovering it day by day.