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Friday, June 10, 2011

Gifted Symbiosis

I started writing this article with the goal of killing the idea of equating giftedness, gifted talents, gifted education,... gifted anything with elitism. I was especially motivated by some people believing that calling something "Gifted Fiction", because it was tailor made to the way gifted people perceive things, was a form of elitism. I guess using that train of thought, one could say that calling reading material tailored for my dyslexia a form of elitism too. Or perhaps people that don't cater to my dyslexia, elitist. In terms of a gifted person, my opinion is that calling something to do with gifted, elitist, amounts to making a racial slur. How could I think that?

Let me summarize a previous point I have made. People identify races by appearance: a difference in bone structure or skin pigmentation or who knows what. Gifted people have a difference in the structure and/or development of their brain. That is a fact. Every "race" has gifted people. This implies giftedness predates racial differentiation in humans. In a very real sense, gifted verses nongifted was the original race distinction. Some gifted are uncomfortable with this concept because they feel distinguishing themselves from the nongifted will lead to separation and that won't help matters. That is a valid fear. For some nongifted, it is a matter of creating an elitist group. The flaw here is that a gifted identity implies separation or that it takes effort to prevent separation. In fact, even when the gifted receive separate education, in the end, total separation cannot occur. Why?

You get a clue from the evolution of human beings. All races having gifted people implies that no matter where groups of humans went, no matter what environmental factors caused humans to alter their structure, gifted and nongifted were side by side. To get the cohesion that occurred, genes had to be exchanged between the two groups. Gifted and nongifted intermarried. Usually when two groups join, one particular variation functions best and the remaining variations die out. But this merging process didn't happen for gifted and nongifted. Why?

Simply, it takes both together to create a viable human colony. There is a symbiotic relationship between gifted and nongifted. If one group cannot perform it's function and provide it's unique contribution to the best of its abilities, both groups die off. So as we decide whether or not to provide for the unique requirements of the gifted or whether that would be elitist, we should keep The End in mind. One final thought: The gifted are a minority; the nongifted are the majority. The nongifted have the power of the ballot. If all nongifted people were to vote to improve education, it would happen tomorrow. Perhaps that should be the focus of effort for people making the elitist slur instead.

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