It is generally understood that the best kind of person is a well-rounded person. If someone describes a person they appreciate or admire, they might say the individual is “well-rounded,” but what does “well-rounded” even mean?
In the sense I am addressing, “well-rounded” is defined as “pleasingly varied or balanced.” It could mean having multiple skills or being multi-talented. To have a well-rounded experience means you have acquired a variety of exposures that have fully developed your personality.
Well-rounded individuals are often noted for their integrity, courtesy, empathy, and responsibility. A well-rounded individual tends to have healthy self-esteem and strong self-identity, so how do you become well-rounded?
#1 — Travel
I am not the biggest fan of traveling. I prefer to stay at home and complete the task at hand, but I am so grateful my parents have taken me to so many places.
As soon as my siblings and I were old enough to appreciate where we were going, my parents set out to give us a well-rounded experience. Before I was 20-years-old, the five of us had visited Peru, Mexico, Canada, and every united state except for Hawaii and Oregon (yes, we’ve been to Alaska).
Because of how quickly we had to move to cover ground, there were many times we were in a different church in a different state every week. There is something different about knowing the universal Church in theory and getting a sense of it by traveling, having images in mind of several different bodies of believers simultaneously gathering like you for Sunday morning worship.
Nothing is quite as effective as traveling when it comes to getting out of yourself and gaining exposure to different cultures. To experience different ways of life, that your day-to-day is not how the rest of the world works.
#2 — Follow people you disagree with
It is human tendency to surround ourselves with people like us, people who will support what we are doing. Not many people enjoy critique or an opposing side, but that is exactly some of the feedback we need.
There is beauty in having multiple perspectives to one issue. From guys and girls to differing political views, we each see things from a different angle that can help round off the rough edges of an idea.
“Sometimes when we sit so long in one place we think there’s only one way to do things.”-Geeta Nayyar, Executive Medical Director at Salesforce
You will see something that might never occur to me. I need your insight. As 1 Corinthians 12 says, each of us is a different member to one body. We must work as a united whole to function to the best of our ability.
The key is respect, attacking the problem, not the people trying to solve it, however passionately they may or may not be going about it.
#3 — Commune with three different age groups
For well-rounded exposure, you need to surround yourself with (1) kids, (2) peers, and (3) those much farther down the road than you.
Kids can reap from the wisdom and experience of those older than them, each of us needs peers to walk beside us wherever we are in life, and those past childhood need to interact with children to refresh their youthfulness.
“Older women likewise…are to teach what is good, and so train the young women”-Titus 2:3-4
Those at the beginning of life need to sit and learn from their elders while those later on in life can benefit from the energy of youths.
#4 — Study topics you wouldn’t initially choose
If you immerse yourself in an academic setting, at one point or another you will come across students questioning why they are required to take such-and-such a class. Why should I study math if I’m not going to be an architect?
A friend from college once relayed to me, “If you only study art, you will have nothing to make art about.” Philosophy, psychology, or sociology may not be my first choice of topics to delve into, but exposing myself to them will contribute to the thematic pieces I love creating.
Every aspect is like a nub of a paper towel. It may seem pointless but, when tied in with the bigger picture, makes a world of difference.