“Difference is a feature, not a bug”

Of all the things I’ve come to learn over my decades of gifted life, one thing that was difficult for me was to come to terms with the differentness. I wanted so badly to be known. As social creatures, this is a normal state for people.

Yet I felt so different, and, in fact, I was. I was a gifted person in a world with ambivalence about giftedness. I would later learn I was neurodivergent in other ways. In stages I came to terms with this. It’s not their fault that they don’t understand. It’s okay that they don’t want to talk about the things I’m interested in. Just because I see things that others don’t, that doesn’t mean I should be arrogant, for I didn’t earn my capacity for insight any more than a giraffe earned its height.

I would make friends in the gifted community, and find more people who could relate to me. Still, the day-to-day difference, and lack of mirroring, hurt. Eventually, I had to accept the hurt, too. Ultimately, I came to realize that difference, in all its ways, needed to be accepted. It’s a truth of the world, much like suffering. Suffering can be transcended, to be sure, but you can’t transcend something without first acknowledging it as a truth. Similarly, difference can be transcended, and it’s unfair that it must be, but isn’t it better to work towards strategies of mitigation of the suffering of difference? While recognizing our power to make changes and be the architects of better social networks, isn’t it also good to work on the heart accept that life isn’t always fair?

It may take time, but I would say that the answer is definitely yes.

If you would like to talk through these or other issues, feel free to reach out.

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