The novel, Divergent, is based on the premise that societal harmony is best achieved when like-minded people live together and pursue similar goals. In this world every sixteen year-old is tested to see which characteristic s/he possesses most strongly and thus which faction s/he is to join: Abnegation, meant to uphold selflessness; Amity, meant for the peaceful; Candor, meant for the honest; Dauntless, meant for the brave; and Erudite, intended for the intelligent.
I am Divergent. Like Tris, the novel’s protagonist, I have aspects of each of the factions. And like Tris each has held me in good stead. Each has also caused me some consternation.
I am selfless. I volunteer for many jobs. Whether it is taking on a parent questioning a younger colleague’s use of a text, volunteering to help establish a science curriculum at the non-profit early childcare center I work with, or agreeing to write a new course for my Writing Project site, I am willing to do so. Some times this leaves me stretched thin, impatient with others when I should be taking myself to task. But I do believe that we are bound to do all that we can to make this world a better place, and so I’ll continue to say yes even when it comes with a price.
Some of what I volunteer to do is a smidge beyond my ken and so some of my abnegation is related to taking risks. Not the kind that the Dauntless take by jumping off of moving trains but scary nonetheless. I haven’t taken a science class since my senior year of high school and I have no background in early learning, but I’m willing to learn. Going to my first National Writing Project professional writing retreat scared me silly. Who was I to sit beside Mary Ann Smith and say I had something worthy to say? And when censorship is bandied about, sometimes people lose their jobs. I don’t expect it to happen, but I know it’s a possibility.
Erudite is what makes the others possible. I love to learn and to teach others. Because I am willing to learn new things, I have a bit of a reputation as a jack-of-all trades and master of none, but I love learning all things literacy related. This is also partially related to the goal of making the world a better place. Because of the skills kids learn in my class, they can do anything they like. Erudite can take over if I’m not careful, however. I have to be careful to remember that knowledge doesn’t trump people in my classroom and in my home.
Amity is something I strive for. I don’t always achieve it. I like when things are peaceful, but I won’t sacrifice Candor in order to make that happen. I do care about others’ feelings and try not to hurt them but not at the cost of truth. Nevertheless, I am fiercely loyal and strive to be someone people can count on. I know how important lending a helping hand or an ear can be to someone in need. I may not always deliver, but I do try.
What about you? Is there one quality that you possess that stands out among all others or are you like me and Tris, Divergent?
I’m participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. Won’t you join me?