Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Size Fits All

I hate this phrase!  There are very few things in this world that I hate but this phrase is definitely one of them.  I hate this phrase with a passion!!!

You might be wondering why I would hate this particular phrase with so much fervour.  I will tell you why. I hate this phrase because, it is a lie!!! Not only in the context of clothing, in which the tag saying "One Size Fits All" is the biggest, nastiest, down right meanest lie ever in the history of the world!  However, regardless of the context in which it is used, this great big lie is always a lie.

An example of this, would be pedagogy (the methodology of teaching).  No single strategy or teaching style will work for every student, in every classroom in every decade.  Every child is different, so is every adult learner for that matter.  We all learn and think and understand in different ways.  Some of us like to listen, others need to see a picture or diagram while still others need to have constant kinaesthetic (movement) stimulation.  Some people don't truly understand something until they have read about it, experienced it and then been expected to explain it to some one else.  But then, for some, a simple sketch, or analogy and the concept is crystal clear.  Pedagogy/ Teaching, must not be planned out in a way that excludes these types of learning.  Effective teachers do not assume that all students will understand by participating in the same activity.  When a teacher steps into the classroom, they will be ineffective if they stick to the "One Size Fits All" approach.

Relationships are another part of life when flexibility is important.  Hollywood would have us believe that there is a classic fairytale method of falling in love.  We know that certainly isn't the case.  Psychologists tell us that communication, honesty, true compatability and a shared belief in core issues are the keys to healthy relationships.  Others would argue that none of that matters and any healthy relationship (whether it's with a partner, friend or relative) takes hard work.  Most old married couples will tell you that a long lasting and healthy relationship takes a great sense of humour, a close bond of friendship and more than a pinch of patience.  My belief is that consideration and respect is a vital part of building and maintaining a good relationship with anyone.  If we respect each other and ourselves while considering each others needs, we can get on with practically anyone.  Some would argue that a healthy relationship is a choice: you choose not to cheat on your partner, you choose not to call your mother names when she says you've gained weight, you choose not to gossip about your best friend, in everything you say and do, you can choose.  Of course, I will admit (not often, so appreciate this), that I could be incorrect about my "respect" theory.  In fact, if I'm being honest, I don't think that there is a "one size fits all" formula for the healthy relationships we all wish we had.  We all need to make mistakes and learn from them and figure it out the best way that we can.  Our differences in personality, size, shape, intelligence and beliefs are just a few reasons why the "one size fits all" fairytale of love does not apply.  

In my humble opinion, I feel I have said plenty to convince you, but just in case you aren't persuaded... because I am right and I will not stop until you admit it... I have one more argument.  The notion that "one size fits all" is contradicted in the very way that we live our lives in the 21st century, that is the rapidly growing use of technology.  These days our technology comes "custom built" or with applications that we can choose to "add on" or download according to our interests.  This proves that ICT manufacturers (at least) have realised that people want a personal, individualised gadget.  They know that not everyone wants a music player and a camera included in their phone.  They know that some people like to play games on their ipad while others just want it for communication and document creation.  They know that some people like a basic model while others want all the bells and whistles.  They know that one size does not fit every customer

Therefore, take a stand people!  No more "one size fits all."  If you see it on a clothing tag, out of pure principle, don't buy the clothes.  If you hear someone say it, set them straight, tell them they are wrong.  We need to start a revolution.  People need to see, that I'm right and that's all there is to it!  Everyone should feel empowered to bravely embrace their difference.  Be proud that you don't fit "the mould."  Remember that people are lying to you.  Join the ones who know the truth..."One Size Fits All" is a LIE!!!