The very first encounter an inquisitive mind meets, is one’s parents. The process of working through one’s personality and discovering intellect, consciousness and diversity is done in one’s home. When a child is born, the natural order of life is that they develop a sense of the world, followed by a sense of self. In the event that the process is not handled with care, it can do one of two things: cripple the child’s ability to grow into their full potential, or create a safe place to discover themselves fully. The process of self-discovery is important because it molds the eyes through which an individual sees herself/himself. When one is born with a strong personality, which is defined as a person with the ability to access and judge quickly, one with a strong strategic thinking ability and possesses the natural ability to be independent in thinking, there is a societal inclination to mold the person into being socially acceptable. This is generally met with silencing the inquisitive mind, as inquisition is misunderstood for insubordination. This festers in the individual, and can grow into distain towards one’s own personality, because there is a constant questioning of why the individual cannot be like others and just accept the manner in which the world functions and works.
Inquisition cannot be mistaken for what it is, which is heresy. Heresy is defined as an opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted. Minds which are inquisitive have molded the world as we know it, the minds of the likes of Albert Einstein, John D Rockerfeller and Nikola Tesla. When we teach our children to shrink themselves and make themselves smaller, or silence their inquisitive minds, we are robbing the world of potential scientists, doctors and philosophers.
We do ourselves no favours by not encouraging the girl child to break out of the predisposed opinions of who they should be, which in essence is imbedded in sexism. We do ourselves no favours by holding the boy child to toxic masculinity, which in essence is the breeding ground for inequality. We especially do ourselves no favours by creating an environment where we silence our children. It is in accepting that every child is different that we begin to create an environment where personalities can flourish and in turn speak the words through our actions that – we accept you as you are, so take up space, be who you are and grow into who your full potential.
*Mavis Braga Elias is a Civil Engineer by qualification and a Marketing Officer by profession. A philanthropist at heart and founder of the EM Love Foundation. She won the Vivid Philanthropist award in 2015 and the Queens Young Leaders Awards 2018. Find her on Twitter - @mavisbraga