Valuing the Intelligence of the Essence & Form

(Hawker & Pre-School Teacher Edition)

Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills (Oxford dictionary). However, when we break down intelligence into the elements of real world understanding, we arrive with two distinct elements, Form and Essence.

Form is the intelligence of precision. It is where the intelligence is gained largely from academic practice and acquisition of the ability to deliver performances of high accuracy. Intelligence of Form is commonly seen amongst the professionals of our modern society, from Engineers to Accountants. They are most widely valued in our modern society. Their crafts are at such high precision, that the number of years spent in practising it can be a huge mountain to climb. It is almost like having a telekinetic ability to perform out of this world skills, known only to those who are in their fields.

Essence is the intelligence of experience and evolution. It usually encompasses a wide range of engagements and relationships that seemingly creates random pockets of knowledge and skills, with no clear objective. They sum up through time into an ability to perform tasks and deliver at levels where no training can attain. Intelligence of Essence, are the root of the creativity that we see in the modern era. Many artists have a high level of this in their mind. Essence is not easily understood due to its seemingly random creation.

As a modern economically driven society, we can comprehend the Intelligence of Form easily. The Intelligence of Essence, on the other hand, would be a challenge to interpret and be aware of. In this article, let me bring you through the journey of comprehending the magic of Essence through two very common occupations which many folks dwell in, Hawkers and Pre-school Teachers.

Hawkers, in this sharing, are the folks who cooks and sells food and beverages to the masses in Hawker Centres and Coffeeshops in Singapore. They deliver good food amidst a dynamic environment with very little credit given to their Intelligence. Hawker performs by giving structure with unstructure. They crystalise the various ingredients gathered from various sources, into a cuisine that sustains human life. Their crafts are evolved through experience in the dynamic food service environment that they subscribe to. They manage their workload of procurement, preparing, cooking and organising payments, all at the same time. They also manage their supply so meticulously meeting the balance of demand and supply. At all times they have to adjust to the changes of the customer preferences and also address the supply volatility due to varied reasons. Many times, Hawkers also personally address the rise in cost of supplies, being a middle space between customers and suppliers. Hawkers, represents the Intelligence of Essence more than Form, but it doesn’t mean they do not have Form. Some Hawkers are able to provide food with such high precision in taste, an element that is the Intelligence of Form. All the hawkers are only able to perform their work, because of the high level of intelligence of Essence that they have, through experience and a propensity to evolve.

Preschool Teachers, in this sharing, are the individuals who teach Full-Time in the Early Childhood sector of Singapore. They care for and educate young children in a school/centre setting. They perform by giving unstructureness within structure. Preschool Teachers, addresses the learning and development of each child while following the flow of a stipulated general curriculum for the school. They are asked to deliver programs and curriculum, while ensuring the integrity of their paperwork and protocols. More importantly, they are the relational contact of the needs of each child and their parents. When you have a child or ever engage with young children, you would know the whole array of behavioural and cognitive elements that are in play, are infinite like the universe. There is no fixed model for working with children. Hence, a Preschool teacher would require to be ready to adjust and evolve with dynamics. They are in the space of work, they require a lot of relationship servicing, that would include management of emotional baggage, boundaries and clarity. Throw this together with all the care-taking aspects of being in Early Childhood, and you have what it takes to be a preschool teacher. The heavy amount of experience and evolution involved in being a preschool teacher, shows the Intelligence of Essence that every good preschool teacher has, for without it, they would not be there for long. The intelligence of a preschool teacher should not be bound to only their academic delivery and quality (which falls in the intelligence of form), but reach far wide into the Essence of one. 

The Intelligence of Essence is strong and high in the Hawkers and Preschool teachers. So the next time you see one, remember the level of intelligence it takes for a person to deliver their work. 

So what intelligence are you? Everyone has strength in them. It may just take a little awareness, for us to realise our intelligence and potential.

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