If we are going to define the standard of the word “well- rounded” and attach this to a person we can create a picture of an individual that has fully developed abilities and qualities to excel in various fields hence earned great success or attainments in his endeavors. In other words this person is an expert in many aspects because he has well-balanced knowledge. The philosophical mind however has other meaningful definition of a well-rounded individual and that is “the total individual”.
Being the total individual or the well-rounded individual emanates from the different levels of our society. For one, having the qualities of being well-rounded develops during the young stages of person’s life. More than 2000 years ago, Socrates always cautioned his students that the goal of education and learning is the process by which an individual creates himself in totality. Any thing in life that is not examined and learned is not worth living for, he said.
In a way, many believe that the education process of a well-rounded person was the result of his perseverance in learning not only from the knowledge given by his teachers but the real knowledge that comes from his own which he personally studied.
Socrates believed that to be a complete individual one must not confined himself with what is offered to him to learn. According to Socrates, a man was born to possess physical, spiritual and intellectual capability to excel and that every individual is unique in his own ways.
Our students are taught from the very beginning the essences of learning based from what our teachers are teaching them. But for all we know this method of learning sometimes constrict the students to delve deeper into their mind and discover their hunger for more knowledge. In other words to make students to be well-rounded persons they must be taught to learn how to learn and make necessary adjustments according to what they aspire. When a student learns how to tap his abilities he can now developed his capabilities to discover more than the basics he is being taught.
Continuing to discover what they can do and learning to challenge their mind enable them to learn skills and earn courage while setting them up to face larger challenges in life. Therefore, if we are going to analyze our education, there is always an integral part that is a bit misplaced. Although the role of the teachers in children’s learning is to force the knowledge from what the teacher has learned, the capability of the students to go beyond what they need to learn and can do becomes limited in the process.
This means that the instructors are developing their students merely to serve as an extension of themselves. Thus it became the standard principle in school that the way the teachers are educating our children have the most impact on how our students would become. This is one of the reasons why getting the chance to be a well-rounded person gets lost in the way because the chance for self-improvement are not properly given. We can now surmise that what we are in the future comes from what our educational system will form us.
So how can we improve ourselves and then become fulfilled individual while learning? It is simple. Building mutual trust between the students and the instructor creates confidence and openness to both parties and discover what they can do. Therefore, the teacher must not engage the student for the lone purpose of imparting his knowledge and familiarity with the subjects but he has to pull hidden skills from the students. As Socrates said, every individual has knowledge and in this manner the teacher can enable the student to reveal that knowledge by creating open communication with his students.
In this process, mutual trust and respect develops because teachers and students will not only open communication and discover their capabilities but can enhance innovations on deeper level. It is just a matter of tapping the untapped and taking out what needs to be enhanced. We have to develop young minds that will focus on higher values and ethics and when their quality reached the highest degree of knowledge, that knowledge can course down and be useful to larger communities. Thus the improvement of an individual becomes the improvement of his own society.
However, all is not too late for us to become special in our own ways. We only have to understand ourselves before we understand why other individuals are more successful than us. For example, there is this childhood friend who went to the same school as you do and now he is the most sought after engineer in your community. You, however, are just an ordinary employee in one of his corporations he is a consultant. This is the part where your mind starts to wonder and ask yourself if its too late to be successful. It is not.
One must only have ideals in life and strive for excellence. It is always never too late. But we also have to consider other options before we can become accomplished citizens or otherwise we can do things independently. Therefore we can conclude that internal and external factors can greatly influence what would come of us into another person (Kreis, 2000). Usually when a person concentrates on certain activities he usually neglect the significance of other activities. His attention is focused only on matters that he deals with and finishes the task accordingly.
He does not find time to go over other things because inevitably he cannot cope up with the stress, the demand of the task and of course the inability to handle other activities at one time successfully. But a well-rounded individual can see things in different perspective. He is always balanced with things but does not lose strength and commitment to what he does. He can make people feel stronger because he believes in himself as well as with other people. He can think independently but can be reliable, he is strong but has compassion for others and he defines his success as the success of everybody.
Nevertheless, he also considers failures as lessons and future references. What makes him a well-developed person is based on how he sees life. He could compare life as a rope. That the many experiences he learned were like the strands that wound together, became solid and carrying him through the test of life. A well-rounded person feels that if he lacks knowledge, skills, courage and experiences the strands are weak and could break easily. Thus, a tough rope symbolizes a well-rounded person with many strands in it.
Each strand signifies his experience with life and his very existence. However, the definition of a well-rounded individual cannot solely base from a skilled person who learned from schools or experience. The term well-rounded person can generally mean an individual who excel in his own field like sports, literature, arts and music. Like in sports, learning to respect the experience of the coaches and skills of your teammates and turn the sports more than just a game makes one a well-rounded individual.
This activity makes this person to show his individuality because he treats everybody well and understands not just the game but the overall setup of the game. This kind of positive characteristic enables him to be more successful and a better athlete as well as providing advantages to his team (Duff, 2006). As a conclusion, the specific answer as to how one can become a well-rounded individual comes from the deep-rooted interest of an individual to become good and excel at what he does although it does not necessarily mean becoming perfect and error-free.
No one is perfect and we all learn from our mistakes. But this imperfection is what drives someone to work harder, be patient, understand the very essence of his surrounding and become more flexible in his mind, body and spirit. A well-rounded person encourages others to show their potential so they can also be beneficial to others. Like the strands of the rope that we are bound together people recognized well-rounded people to bind other people so that they can make things happen through teamwork and show their potentials.