The Importance of Being (Aware)

I know that I drive those around me crazy with my talk of giftedness in adults. “Gifted kids grow up”. “The things that are different about us are with us – life-long!”. “Call it what you want, there are qualities and characteristics that distinguish us as being different – not better than, not worse than – but very very different!”.

Uh Oh I sense the eye rolling already. Finger on the key – she’s at it again blah blah , so what?

WAIT! Here is my ‘so what’:

I’ve been working with people for 40 years. And throughout that time, my deep down gut intention has been to make a difference in the world, one human life at a time. To ease suffering, and to make this world a better place. I figure that since we’re overpopulating, we may as well seek peace and wisdom while we’re at it. Maybe together we’ll make better decisions about our planet.

So when curious, deep-thinking, intelligent, creative and values-driven people come to my door, I’m happy. Right?

WRONG! I am NOT HAPPY! WHY NOT, you (oughta) ask?

Because these same amazing people come to my therapy practise to be ‘fixed’. To remove the pathology bestowed upon them by the unaware. Different becomes bad becomes ‘treatable’.

I don’t like it, and I’m doing what I can to change it.

Here are the labels: OCD, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, major personality disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, ASD, ADHD, ADD, and just plain ‘wrong’. Yes, I know that all aforementioned can be ‘real conditions’ with pharmacological and other treatment. I’m well trained. I won’t be drawn into that red herring anymore.

Back to the package of characteristics that distinguish us (yes, I am) as gifted adults. It’s really simple – let’s become aware … and celebrate.

Whatever we each may believe about why we are here, or what the world needs, or where ‘meaning’ sits in our current narrative about life . . . surely we know that devaluing and diminishing those who HAVE to expand beyond boxes and dogma is JUST NOT OK.

Without awareness, the pathologizing of gifted adults will continue. Subtly within families and organizations, grossly within medical systems, and personally in the internalizing of our ‘wrongness’. The world is NOT a better place for it.

It’s Gifted Awareness Week here in New Zealand. I celebrate the Tall Poppies who have managed to stay tall. I celebrate those of us who have bent and maybe on occasion broken (yes, I have. Many times). And I completely, intensely, loudly, passionately and with power, enthusiasm and fear (yes) that has NO BOUNDS – celebrate those who celebrate with me!

p.s. if you didn’t click on New Zealand above, you’re missing an icon! Go on. Make your day.

“Moving forward – one quirky step at a time!” — Maggie Brown