Wednesday, November 16, 2016

For the gifted community in the election aftermath

For my readers:

I have been writing this blog for almost four years now, and so appreciate that you come to visit. Blogging has been a meaningful and inspiring journey for me. And I hope that I contribute to shedding some light on the plight of the gifted.

It has been difficult for me to write about gifted children recently, given the turmoil and aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. Everything else seems to pale in comparison. And like most of you, I have been profoundly affected by it. But this blog is not a forum for me to share my personal political views, and I don't want to offend others who may hold a different perspective

Yet I am also aware that gifted people - both children and adults - view the world with a degree of depth and complexity that informs their opinions. Despite the option to choose third party candidates, the US election essentially comes down to a battle between two candidates - forcing each voter to pare down their expectations, synthesize an abundance of conflicting information, and come to terms with what matters most.

How do gifted people make these decisions? I have not come across any research on this, but I suspect that voting decisions are weighed with the same depth of thought and complexity as any decision of importance. All variables are entered into the equation. Gifted people are not typically "single issue" voters. They don't pick a candidate because he/she will "get my job back," or "improve my town." They consider judgment, temperament, skill, experience, past behaviors, and campaign speeches - as well as party affiliation, policies, and promises.

A great many gifted people are despondent about the election results. A recent blog post describes how gifted people may be reacting intensively to the election, and offers helpful suggestions for how to adjust and direct one's energies. There have been articles about helping young children cope, and even for couples who disagree about their voting decisions. It will take resilience, courage, and yes, that "gifted" complexity, creativity, and depth to weather the road ahead.

And let's not forget that some gifted people will be pleased with the election results. I suspect that those gifted Trump supporters were not single issue voters, but also considered all of the issues and felt that those outweighed the alternative, despite some of the racist, homophobic rhetoric, for example, that emerged during his campaign.

My wish is that this community of gifted adults, parents of gifted children, and teachers, counselors or advocates for the gifted can come together and help ourselves and others move forward through this uncertain time. Let's do what we can to manage our own stress, comfort and reassure our children, use self-care, develop compassion for others' perspectives, learn from this experience, and channel our passion for fairness and justice into becoming more active community members.

Wishing you peace,