Our life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change. Various and revolutionary changes push around our mother earth like randomly wandering winds, bringing harmful consequences along with positive results. It is the heartbeat of growth marked by improvements in our communities, our schools and workplaces, our countries, our world. Together, we can change our reality just by changing our mentality.

In my country, we have a problem with discrimination and judgment. We judge others based not on how we really see them, but on how we think we should see them. We fit people into little boxes and categories, because we think that will help us understand them better. Instead, it prevents us from understanding them. A student’s talent is determined by merit certificates handed to him by the principal. Teachers choose their favorites based on class assignments and raised hands. And the students who don’t fit into easy categories are pushed aside, leaving their unconventional talents unrecognized.

Favoritism is pushing hardworking students into bad situations, just because their talents lie in dancing instead of math, or poetry instead of physics. Real talents are squandered because the people in power have trouble classifying them. I can’t tell you how many times my peers are rejected and left out in the crowd because of test scores and social norms. A student could be the world’s greatest sculptor, but if he’s even passably good at math, then he will grow up to be an accountant, not a sculptor. If he’s not good at math, he’ll be a taxi driver. In my tiny country, there is no chance that he’ll utilize his full potential.

If we want to change the world, we need to get rid of categories. We need our elders to accept us for who we are and what we can bring to the world, even if our talents are hard to define. We must not weigh a student’s worth based on how many merit certificates he possesses. I’ve experienced this problem many times in my primary, secondary, and high school experience. Instead, we should allow each student to gain confidence, be open, and figure out his own path. Students are not contestants in some one-size-fits-all competition.

To make this change, I want to start with myself. I want to forget about the daily pressures and take time to identify my own talents. By doing that, maybe others will follow my example. Then, if enough students can understand their own self-worth, then the system will change. Our futures won’t be determined by entrance exams, but by our own decisions. A sculptor will become a sculptor, not an accountant.

Let’s not discriminate and judge others. More importantly, let’s not allow the school system to discriminate and judge ourselves. We are all unique individuals, and we need to recognize that. In short, the most important change we can make is to get rid of these categories. If we all do that, then the system itself will change, and all students will grow up to be the adults that they were destined to become.

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