I remember when I was growing up often hearing the saying “do one thing but do it well!” I had a tendency to daydream and wander in so many directions, touching many fields of interest and feeling frustrated at the mere idea of having to choose. In school one day, my Russian teacher prevailed upon me as I was struggling to keep up with the seven foreign languages I had selected to study: choose one and focus on it!
The majority of people specialize in a single discipline and get to hone it throughout their lives, identifying first and foremost with their job, their family, or their country of origin, depending on whatever prevails when standing at the helm of their own existence. As a result, we often question our ability to make decisions in other areas regarding our health, the education of our children, or the fate of the planet. We quickly abdicate the authority and discharge the responsibility for our own lives, unable to cope with the rapid changes in our set of circumstances, from having to heal ourselves, to educate ourselves, or to partake in communities and hone the fate of the planet.
It takes a village to raise a child for a balanced life, listening to all sides, integrating all voices. You may have noticed that you tend to look at things from one particular angle, but that there are many perspectives. You may feel more inclined towards an emotional rather than a financial argument, or you may prefer to think in terms of details rather than the big picture. Make sure not to be blindsided, however, as there are many other ways of looking at our situation. We may be happier choosing one focus, but we owe it to ourselves to explore other sides.
We become (well-rounded) human beings when we open up to others’ viewpoints and become more confident in our own choices as a result, and when we become fully at ease with our changing views over time. Ultimately, it helps communicate with people from other countries about who we are, in full respect of our own and others’ biases. We are multifaceted international beings at heart.