There is a tale that educators love about the girl who paints a purple tree. The teacher, who has drawn a tree on the board and asked the children to copy it, is disapproving. “You didn’t copy my tree.”
“I know,” says the girl. “I drew my tree.”
“But I’ve never seen a purple tree.”
“Isn’t that a shame,” says the girl.
In a similar vein, Hebrew mystic myth master Kook laments educators who efface the “Essential I,” his term for Unique Self:
Along come the learned teachers,
and focus their gaze on all that is outside,
they too distract us from the “I,”
they add fuel to the fire,
giving the thirsty vinegar to drink…
stuffing the minds with all that is external to them…
and the Essential I is more and more forgotten.
Sometimes our educators, our leaders, and our parents haven’t the eyes to read our insides…
from Marc Gafni’s Your Unique Self (pp. 189-190)