"Your contribution is necessary. You are free to define what that contribution is in a way that is an actual reflection of you in a more fully self-expressed way." ~Nita Baum
We arrive in this world with birthright gifts—then we spend the first half of our lives abandoning them or letting others disabuse us of them. As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectations held by people who are not trying to discern our selfhood but to fit us into slots. In families, schools, workplaces, and religious communities, we are trained away from true self toward images of acceptability; under social pressures like racism and sexism our original shape is deformed beyond recognition; and we ourselves, driven by fear, too often betray true self to gain the approval of others.
We are disabused of original giftedness in the first half of our lives. Then—if we are awake, aware, and able to admit our loss—we spend the second half trying to recover and reclaim the gift we once possessed.
Sometimes you don’t know how great life truly can be until you are there. ~Parker Palmer
This conversation on Giftedness with Nita Baum is one of the best podcast conversations I have had yet. We touch on the following themes:
- How your unique contribution is essential for you and for the rest of us
- How it may take time to figure it out
- The education system's impact on our giftedness
- A surprising landmark study on creative genius conducted by Beth Jarman and George Land using a test created by NASA
- Systemic issues—diversity/tolerance begins with our own self-acceptance—even our own weirdness and idiosyncrasies
- The role of elders
- Not holding fast to what you know because it’s going to change
- Your lens is valuable and each of us has the right to our own lens—we can all do that at the same time.
- A nod to artists and those who are marginalized including incarcerated--the need to find common ground
- And much more
The series will continue for 3 more weeks! Look out for Special Episode 3 next week.