Art of the Individual

All you have to ask yourself is: “What do human beings do?”  What characterizes the human story?  Compare us with the animals, and ask what are we particularly good at?  And here one asks not about the geniuses only, but about each ordinary person.  We are creators of ourselves and discoverers of ourselves too,  and molding this individual personality is the chief business of each person’s existence.  And too, it is a marvel how people project the sense of themselves upon others, how you can walk past a total stranger and merely nod the most summary of greetings and receive in return a distinct impression of this unknown other.  Sometimes quick impressions of this sort turn out to have been very revealing.

We ought to be teaching it in school, using every subject and every endeavor to get the message across, bending every discipline to the task – science, art, history, literature, music, having all these things as tools for creating the self, for becoming a person.