I have been having a number of conversations over recent weeks with parents and teachers about the emotional sensitivities of gifted students. Often emotional outbursts are referred to as over-reacting or immature but is it really over-reacting or immaturity when the individual’s perception of an event is compounded by heightened sensitivity? I often think of this Pearl S. Buck quote when I see or hear about the emotional “outbursts” of my gifted students.
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.
Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – – – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”
I am deeply thankful for the creative minds that have made my life so much richer and as a result I try to proceed with care when I see a child is “over-reacting”. Sal Mendaglio from the Univeristy of Calgary has an excellent short article that should provide some guidance as to how to proceed from there. There is a link to Sal Mendaglio’s article here.