There is a fine line between genius and mental illness. Many of our greatest contributors, i.e. Lincoln, Hemingway, Beethoven, Tolstoy, Newton, Dickens, John Nash….and the list goes on, had a mental illness at some point in their life. As a society we accept the idiosyncrasy of our friends and chalk it up to individuality. However, do we know what to do with those who could be called outliers…the geniuses, the very intelligent, the creative?
Very brilliant and/or creative people seem strange to ordinary people. Bullies target the intelligent on playgrounds across this nation. Many geniuses are lonely people in a world they see in a different way from ordinary people. Shunned because people do not understand their thought patterns. Therefore, they lead their lives in quiet desperation not being fully understood…not given their full measure. Some find the strain of living in an ordinary world a heavy burden and find a safer place…such as found in A Beautiful Mind.
Humans do not realize that they are all alone on some level. Then there are those when finding themselves alone feel insecure. There must be something wrong with them to be alone. The complexities of life haunt them. Outcast, not loved, not wanted. Pretenders…playing at life.
God gave me two beautiful children. Both are outliers and growing up with them was different. They had far surpassed my abilities by the time they were in the sixth grade. No, I am not smarter than a fifth grader. As a mom you know you cannot protect them from life, from bullies, from pain. The gift is precious and you realize they are not yours;they never were…your charge was to love, support, and release them to their life.
Having said all this, I would add, if you were/are given the gift of children, the same applies whether gifted, normal, disabled…autistic…each was sent as a gift to teach lessons of life. Let us marvel at the gifts we received.