We take a lot of care in our education systems to recognize and nurture gifted children. They are often placed in special, smaller classes and encouraged to work at their own pace, moving ahead as quickly as they can. Some parents take their gifted children out of the education system and home school them, nurturing their gifts while encouraging them to thrive. They are presented to the world as outside the norm as they play the piano, explain their invention, excel in sports. Whether physical or intellectual, their gifts are held in high regard.
The discussion of what it means to be gifted in the novel, CeeGee’s Gift, has an entirely different take. CeeGee’s gift comes with the responsibility to be generous, to offer her gift with kindness and a desire to help others. That is the only reason she has it.
As I wrote the story, I began by thinking about who we would become if misfortune or illness robbed us of our gifts. And then I thought, ‘Well, if you can no longer give one gift, you must find another one to give.’ I came to believe that being gifted was not about being special and pampered, it was about a responsibility to find ways we can each do good in the world.
I hope as children, parents and grandparents read this book, they share a discussion that is two-fold. First to the child, ‘Are you gifted? What are your gifts?’ Followed by the second, more important question, ‘Are you giving your gift generously? In what ways have you helped others by giving your gift?’ I hope readers will let me know if they have this conversation and what the outcome was. I would love for you to share with me, so I can share with others.