The Self
Child Abuse

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Recognizing Gifts
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I was born into a family with several "gifted" members. I have had the pleasure of knowing many persons of high intellect. As a student of behavioral sciences, I have not only read, but intimately observed the following characteristics that seem to ride in tandem with the double edged sword of super intelligence.

Consider the well-known principle of over-endowment; it seems that nature's way of balance is to leave some area of our psyche underdeveloped when we are overdeveloped in another. The tradeoff for super intelligence is very often emotional immaturity and underdevelopment. Characteristics that are observed to be eccentric are actually the outbursts of a child within who has deferred growth and maturity, diverting the energies to this person's mental faculties. How often do you see gifted people behaving as children, fascinated and consumed by its own fingers and toes? They may be open and giving, but they want to be the one serving tea at the tea party. It's THEIR party, after all! I was even told by a friend that I must follow his "rules" of conversation since it was he who initiated it, and it was therefore HIS conversation. How classic!

The child lives - and thrives - and has its being behind the steering wheel of a very powerful machine. A really clever child even learns how to deflect criticism, or other elements that threaten to remove him from the driver's seat. Perhaps it is preservation, or merely a contest of wit and will, but the child wishes to remain dominant and in control. Like the baby who is caught up with its own fingers and toes, and whose vision is limited by its narrow peripheral of SELF, an emotionally immature person is compelled to manipulate people and circumstances to its own gratification. Picture the little girl who carefully arranges her dolls and toys into an arena -- a classroom, or an audience. She maneuvers them totally for her gratification. A really clever child can even take statements, comments, remarks given by others, and then rearrange the meaning, or project the words back in such a way as to put the speaker under scrutiny, or into outright confusion. It is simply a trick to avoid "swallowing the peas" -- of looking at themselves in the light of others and responding in an appropriate way. By deflection and projection, the child is able to maintain its control, even over the shape & form of "TRUTH". The child's narcissism prevails and all things -- including ALL THINGS -- are his to create his world according to his capricious SELF.

A child does not know or practice the art of GIVE AND TAKE beyond its own pleasure or needs. Oh, the child gives. Just as a precious toddler drops a muddy frog into his mother's open hand. Just as a dog brings its master some bedraggled treasure. But the child does not necessarily give according to the need of others. See the difference? Children have shown great compassion toward people and animals. It is a wonder to behold the empathy and caring of a child's heart. However, they will respond according to their SELF; i.e. offer assistance that is completely within their ego-centric boundaries, and not inclusive of the thoughts and/or desires of others. The indicator is balance. The child can "Show and Tell" but can it "Watch and Listen"?

As our spiritual awareness expands, we are lifted from the one-dimensional preoccupation with SELF, as we include people and energies of our surroundings into our thought process. The more we grow, the more our awareness broadens so that we become concerned with the issues of our SELF and OTHERS ... as we are more integrally part of others, as we become cohesively involved with the lives and/or actions of others. Ultimately, we will see OTHERS as our SELF and no longer need to engage in the narcissism and exclusivity of our own fingers and toes!

Meanwhile, it would be most expedient to engage a loving friend with whom this manchild, or womanchild, has become secure and who will encourage their natural instincts and behavior. They can illuminate points of conflict between the CHILD in action, and the thoughts/actions of a more mature person ..... Give and take ... Open to thoughts/actions of others .... Able to form symbiotic associations and to blend energies with others. Able to be the driver or the passenger. The wonder, innocence, fascination, and curiosity of the child remain .... to the absolute delight of us all! But the behavior becomes more balanced. The mature person becomes enriched, and functions much more to the benefit of the world around him.

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Trading Places
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