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Wednesday, November 09, 2005



I'm a bit late posting today because I'm having a very interesting discussion over on The Language Guy . It's about evolution and intelligent design, my favourite debate, and a time-sink for anyone interested. You have been warned!

In discussing the design for a workshop I'm giving in the spring, I got to thinking about the importance of socialization of the gifted. It's interesting in that unlike people who obviously come from another reality, because they have an accent or look different or are just new in town, the gifted live among everyone else largely incognito. So asking for special treatment really doesn't make sense to a lot of people.

In societies difference is either punished or celebrated, but it is rarely ignored. Some tribal societies might train their gifted to be spiritual leaders, for example, which along with a defined role and responsibility gave enormous licence for a gifted person to be deviant (not using this word perjoratively!) Other groups might ostracize them or even kill them as dangerous "witches".

How can we give all gifted people acceptance and meaningful work in modern western society? I have my own theory, but I want to know what you think!

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As I see it, it's not about "giving" gifted people (or any other specialized group)anything or even about making the rest of the world understand that difference. It's more about the gifted coming to a greater understanding of themselves and where they fit in in the big wide world. With more awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, the gifted (or anyone else for that matter) can work to develop skills that will enable them to exist and work in a comfortable place in the world.

This is where your coaching comes in Jo and where classes for the gifted in public schools have a place. Ultimately though, everyone is weird in their own way and change can only happen through self-awareness.
One vital measure is the creation and maintainance of effective programs for treating drug and alcohol abuse. Among other self-destructive behaviours, these seem to be problems that supposedly 'gifted' people fall into easily. Personally, I think that has a lot to do with feelings of isolation.
You speak about "giving all gifted people acceptance and meaningful work in modern western society." Huh? This is a bit of an idealistic approach to a society that at best well...have you watched the news lately?
Okay you live in Canada, I forgive you.

All kidding aside, most of my own social dysfunction has been brought on by my own inordinate lack of personality for the majority of my life. Had someone grabbed me by my hair at the age of ten and kindly informed me that it was not very polite to condescendingly and articulately inform everyone around me that they were less than intelligent, growing up and later in life things might have been a bit different.
You live, you learn.
While I am grateful for what I do know and all that I've been able to learn and give to my family and friends because of my understanding and my view of the world; asking or expecting special treatment because of my IQ or a numerical test is something I just can't do.
One of my children is special needs, on the autism spectrum. I know he wont have a "normal" job or acceptance within western civilized society so making those demands for myself would in fact make me a hypocrite wouldn't it? How's that for irony?
Exceptional is overrated.
Gifted is just what it is.
A gift, not a flag to wear or shout about.
Thank you for visiting my space and thank you for letting me share.
Jo_Jo, hey kid. One of the ways you can tell a science is by the ability to set up an experiment and have the outcome repeated. Look at the blog. (of those who are sticking to the topic) The out come is repeated in three different ways. Which you would get the three same set of responses if I told them there momma was fat. Some take as a personal attack. Some take it as a fact because their momma is fat. Some follow learned helplessness and take no position. The ones who feel it is a personal attack, spew venom, pour on treacle hoping to pursued… It is B. F. Skinner’s work in a nutshell.

The cool thing about it, when I can shed the imperial glasses, it is beautiful the way they are purely reactionary.
I want to know what you think! The rest of my reply is over at my place.
Hey Doll, I have to comment on the confident person post... What makes you confident? Knowing and enjoying who you are. I change my life every five years. From a cop, to a research assistant, to a teacher, to an EMT, to the head of an Alzheimer's ward... I want to do it all at least once. I want to be excited about my life. Never fear failing, anybody and everybody can fail. Do it in style!
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