Many people with beautiful minds hide it under a bushel basket. This stems not only from a longing for acceptance in a society that values egalitarianism, but also from resistance to facing the prospect of glorious existence.
It takes courage to look at the highs and lows of our various capacities.
And the reticence of the adult gifted and twice-exceptional to be open and honest about how their mind works perpetuates a climate in which gifted and 2e children do not feel fully invited to shine.
I remain sad and perplexed after many in the gifted field provide what seems to be an obligatory reluctance to use the word “gifted” (thankfully, a blog hop from GHF changes this trend). Yet no replacement term captures the fullness of the gifted experience; nothing else points to the creativity, intensity, complexity, and depth that often resides in the gifted mind.
The new term “eXtra intelligent” seems silly. I might have a little extra ketchup on my fries, but intelligence is not a commodity with a sweet spot of utility beyond which there is no marginal value. I want all I can have.
I feel the deepest gratitude for Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman’s book “Giftedness 101.” This primer could be fundamental to introducing caring adults to the modifications required for educating, counseling, parenting and loving gifted people, as called for in the Columbus Group’s definition of giftedness as asynchronous development. And, even with her book, I would like to see a broader consideration of neurodiversity.
I would like each individual to have a sense of what is beautiful about their mind. Yes, some minds are quantitatively and qualitatively different from the norm.
And that difference matters.
When a person says they have a beautiful (or fascinating) mind, ask for more information. Say “Tell me about it” instead of “How dare you say that!”
Any self-reflective person has already taken an honest look at self-doubt, and they need the fundamental validation that they have an interesting existence in the world before they can take on any subtle challenges about how to reach others and have their intended impact.
One person being gifted does not cause another person to be dull, just as one person being athletic or tall does not cause another person to gain or lose those traits. The world has highs and lows, and we should recognize and serve each instead of presuming they equal out in a global balance.
In fact, we have a world of individuals with differences, and neither the field nor the players are equal.
Although all people matter and have dignity, honesty about gifts and challenges is necessary to harness the gifts and overcome the challenges. If you happen to be typical or dull, maybe don’t stress about it. If you are gifted or brilliant, I would weep if you don’t pay attention. Your glory, and the world’s benefit from your brilliance, is at stake.