Sunday, April 02, 2006
I was born at this time in history to unite a tribe that has been long divided. GIFTED PEOPLE ARE DYING. This is urgent, and real. We've got to give up any defensive claims that gifted people don't need or deserve help. We've got to stop the turf wars over different conceptions of giftedness that dominate the academic and educational worlds. It's time to create a system that will hold all of us as our personalities disintegrate and reintegrate. This is the only way that we can grow into the higher levels that are the fullest expression of our intelligence and humanity.
Gifted people must come together into a cohesive group so that we can begin to do all the things tribes do for their members - provide a community of acceptance, a safe home. Serve each other, protect ourselves, and mark milestones together. Care for the young ones and give them the training and tools they need in our particular society and in the societies around us. Celebrate and mourn, support and challenge. We now have the technology to fully meet this need.
We must find a way to get an "acceptance letter" to every gifted person and invite them to join a strong, vibrant tradition of self development within the safety of a group that fully "gets it".
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More importantly, 'gifted' people are split in almost every important way and in terms of almost every issue. You find extremely intelligent people across the political spectrum and on either side of divisive issues; you find them in all religious groups, both tolerant and intolerant.
As such, the purported aim of creating support and camaraderie among the gifted is probably a misguided one. Without some kind of sensible ordering principle, beyond intelligence defined in contentious terms, such a grouping is more likely to be fractious than fraternal.
I love the idea of a tribe. I feel like I have found a little of what you are talking about in the UU church. When I read about the traits of gifted people, I think one of the defining characteristics is a certain independance of spirit, and those people seem willing to break with tradition and many of them have found their way to a UU church.
In a book about archtypal journies there is the journey of the warrior and the journey of the lover which are opposed to each other. That part of the journey is transcended when someone finds a community where they can be themselves and belong. I think that is such a strong need in our world, and certainly a big part of my journey. I think it is a worthy and possible mission you have set for yourself.
Anonymous Two here again. I like the concept of a tribe thing - a bit of the Robert Bly "Iron John" stuff. I think Milan comments may not be focusing on what you have in mind. In my viewpoint - giftedness is not about intelligence - it is about an unique sense of being - gifted individuals have certain traits such as hypersensitivity, "getting it quicker", the ability to learn quicker and at more advanced levels and have existential issues. While I agree with Milan that some individual's intelligence and knowledge of things is due to upbringing and social class, giftedness is more of an innate issue. For example the concept of lonliness and isolation are common threads for gifted individuals. So if you can establish a tribe where all gifted indviduals are welcome regardless of intelligence level where the main issue is friendship and acceptance then count me in.
I will bring my drum to beat around the campfire.
Lovely as HP is, we don't have a real world magic quill which writes down gifted children's names at birth. I hope you'll post your ideas on how you're thinking of going about this, but yeah... I'm thinking it's easier and more practical not to reivent the wheel. At least, not until you have more allies working on it with you. Much easier to create a broader, more inclusive spin-off group with help from like-minded fellows as a second or later step.
I found you through the SENG message boards. I love what you have to say here, but I think it will take a certain paradigm shift for many gifted individuals who value so highly being part of a very exclusive club. I've considered joining Mensa. But that requires either tracking down my ancient school records from some dusty dead file basement or taking their test, neither of which appeal to me in the least.
I've spent my life balancing on the fence between hiding my giftedness to fit in and clinging to it for a sense of identity. I crave a place of acceptance where I don't have to prove or pretend anything and I can be myself: an everyday complex, multifaceted, flawed, gifted person.