We’ve been a world in upheaval for quite some time. It can be exhausting. It can be frightening. It can be overwhelming and it can feel hopeless. We feel it in the air and in the everyday conversations with everyday people. And, when in a group of gifted kids, teens, and adults, the angst and existential questioning has been palpable.
Weekly my therapy office is filled with conversations about the goings on of the world. These brilliant minds are trying to make sense of it all. These emotionally intense souls are feeling all the feels and trying to manage the frequently resulting depression and anxiety. Many of these kids verbalize hopelessness and helplessness. They need us to bring the hope and they need us to help them help.
I can’t help but think of the Margaret Meade quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” In fact, I’ve used this quote in session several times. Usually, it’s met with an eyeroll and some sort of friendly, sarcastic comment about my eternal optimism being a bit sickening. So, I give them examples.
Like the small group of passengers aboard Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.
Or the bus boycotters of Montgomery, Alabama.
Or Mark Zuckerberg and his crew.
And when I see the glazed look in their eyes as they try to ponder these distant-feeling movements, I bring it down to a more personal level.
I talk about the changes we’ve made together during therapy and the ripple effect of these changes.
I talk about gifted support and advocacy groups, like Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. I share how GHF has brought me support on the days I didn’t think I could keep going. Brought me understanding of my kids and new ways to parent them. Brought me access to research and information that has helped me know how to understand and help my clients better. Helped me feel typical within my atypicalities.
And when they inevitably dismiss these things because all they can see is the struggle of right now, we talk about the struggles that frequently accompany any kind of change. We talk about the theory of positive disintegration. We reflect on all the pain and struggle that has accompanied the growth within the therapy room. We talk about the bus boycotters, the heroes of Flight 93, the challenges that have accompanied social media creation and management. And, as of late, we talk about the transitional pains within the GHF community. But, out of the ashes comes beauty. Out of the struggle comes resilience. Out of the muck rises a small group of people who are willing to dedicate their lives to changing the world for misunderstood gifted people.
I’m eager to see the resilience of GHF and so thankful the community has been rebuilding and supporting new gfited families. I’m thankful for the many small groups of people who have embraced the struggle and made the changes. And I’m hopeful that all these questioning, anxious, thoughtful kids are our leaders. They will be the small group of thoughtful, committed citizens who will change this world. We just need to keep reminding them of that.