In today’s work-field, it is very common to come to the realization that we, as educated human beings, are disposable. After years of training, studying, and preparation, we are coming to terms with the fact that our jobs are now more efficiently being done by high technologies or overseas for barely any wage. According to Daniel Pink, we are slowly becoming aware that our once encouraged high tech, L-directed thinking is now the runner up compared to the high concept, R-directed ways.
We are now learning that L-directed thinking is no longer valued as much as the up and coming R- directed theory. In society we have always been encouraged to study concepts and theories, to learn the mechanical-like ways of life. Now that our demographic is drastically changing, our ways of thinking are doing so as well. We used to discourage doodling and art from a child and forced him to practice his studies. Now, however, we are coming to grips that maybe there is more in the doodling then once overlooked. High touch, high concept is a R-directed thought process, one that values arts, emotion, empathy, the ability to think creatively and problem solve individually. These are all indispensable qualities in the work force; never will a computer be able to preform these abilities better than a human being.
In schools the L-directed standardized tests were pushed and practiced from the elementary grades through college. Many brilliant students fail miserably on these tests which in turn makes them feel inadequate in comparison. My question to the our school system is, since when did every student learn, express, and convey in the same way? The answer is never. This proves the standardized way of thinking, educating and testing to be insufficient. Those who are able to preform well on standardized materials may lack other extremely important characteristics to make them successful in the future, for example, the ability to express, rationalize, preform successfully trying to communicate or work in groups, and take responsibility for an error they may have caused.
We are slowly warming up the idea as a societal whole that certain qualities cannot be learned, and if gifted with them, to expand and explore them as much as possible. It is now becoming highly valued to be able to self-express, create, pursue, have optimism, work with laughter and individually be able to contribute something that no one else is able to contribute. Because of this, we are able to become more of who we naturally are, rather than learning to be the best “cookie cutter” mold of an efficient L-directed worker.
Pink is on to something when he states that R-directed thinking is becoming a more valued and more desirable attribute in an individual. Due to this, our generation and future generations to come have the excitement of looking forward to embracing their individualistic strengths and applying them in the real world.
Pink, Daniel. A Whole New Mind. (ISBN) 1-57322-308-5. Riverhead Books, Print.