I have often wondered about “gifted” people, as distinct from the rest of us “normal” folk!
I have known a number of people who, at least from my perspective, are “gifted”. They have achieved a very high level in a particular interest, and at a quite young age. I remember reading an article on “high achievers”, and the writer’s conclusion was that behind many high achievers, is a traumatic event which is being buried!
It does make sense to me that some individuals will certainly “throw themselves” into a project simply to distract from their reality. I once knew an elderly Polish Jewish gentleman who worked all his waking hours at his lumber business. He candidly explained to me, on one occasion, that he needed to keep his mind busy, otherwise it would drift back to his childhood in a WWII POW camp where he lost both his parents and his sister.
However, I have also known “gifted” people who appear to have reached that level of competence as a result of encouragement and enthusiasm from their parents. I am sure that most of us have “dabbled” in something that appealed to us and, while modesty may have prevented us from announcing our perceived progress, we have smiled within when somebody complimented our ability.
Based purely on my experience, I would suggest that it takes a remarkable amount of dedication and self control to pursue an interest without any outside encouragement. Who knows what each of us could have been capable of, if our parents had offered unbridled enthusiasm, guidance and support?
I have often wondered – If I had been allowed to follow my dream of becoming a railway locomotive driver, how different my life could have been.
I have often wondered – When I was capable of completing 100 mile bike rides at 16/17 years old, how different my life could have been if that level of ability had been channeled into a competitive cycling culture.
I have often wondered – Having displayed a love of classical music in my early teens, and having picked up my Mum’s violin and experimented with it, how my life could have been different if my interest had been directed to violin lessons.
My children were independent before I realized the importance of unconditional support and overall enthusiasm in their goals and aspirations but, better late than never, I now encourage them (and many other people) to follow their dreams and aspirations and, if I can help them in their endeavors, then I will.
Is there really such a thing as “gifted”? I can well imagine the answer is “Yes”. I can also well imagine that so many “normal” people could achieve very high levels of ability in areas of their interest if only they received ongoing support, enthusiasm and perhaps some guidance towards their goals.
I have often wondered how different our world could be if, every time we met somebody with a clear interest in a particular area of expertise, we expressed absolute support, encouragement and overall enthusiasm in their endeavors.
I have often wondered how different our own lives could be if we were able to look back at an individuals achievements and smile to ourselves knowing that we had, in our own way, contributed to their success.