“Something’s been said,” is a quote used by members of my extended, Southern family. Although I was raised in the Midwest, I’d heard this phrase every time something suspicious happened within our clan. It means that there is something definitely wrong, unexplainable, off-putting, or weird going on with a family member, friend or associate but no one knows how to explain it or wants to expose the real issues. Details are often missing or simply don’t add up. No one could evaluate a situation with clarity or objectivity in an environment where hidden secrets and lies existed. As a child, I instinctively knew when a story didn’t make sense, and my facial expression often reflected it.
After moving south, a native North Carolinian told me that her grandmother told her to “hide yo crazy”. The statement made me laugh out loud because it reminded me of the stories we often share that provide half the facts that simply do not add up. It’s another way of saying “something’s been said“. Most people don’t internally question what they hear. Too few are willing to investigate, research or debate a topic before making a decision. There is an even smaller group who will allow room for a presumption of innocence until proof has been obtained.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, a show called “Different Strokes” was a favorite in my household. I particularly loved the young son, played by former child actor Gary Coleman, who would question information that didn’t make sense to him…. something would have been said for sure!
In this section of Hide Yo Crazy …. Something’s Been Said, we’ll examine cultural, familial, relational, and current events, and provide a platform to examine and perhaps debate these matters in terms of appropriateness, accuracy, and relevancy. Guest writers will also participate to allow for different perspectives on subjects. I am hopeful that we will be able to unveil some of the different viewpoints and allow us to gain a better understanding of what may really be happening within our own minds as well as relationships. Come back soon …check out this video until we chat again.
As humans, we can all use different psychological defense mechanisms to protect our egos and feelings when triggered – – guilt, shame, hurt, angry, jealous, envious etc. The one most mentioned in today’s lexicon is the word – projection. Psychological projection is a common behavior in which someone attributes their own character traits, emotions, intentions, impulses or desires onto another person making the assumption that this person desires, feels, thinks the exact same way. For example, a person who is a liar might assume that ALL people are liars or an honest person believes ALL people are the exact same way without evidence to support this assertion. Most of the time, psychological projection involves the denial of some aspect of one’s own thoughts or behavior while simultaneously assuming or accusing other people of doing or thinking those same things.
So – – have I been guilty of using this defense mechanism? Yes – indeed! I have projected my own value system onto people who had not demonstrated those values, traits or characteristics. Have others used this defense mechanism towards me? Absolutely! Some have accused me of having traits not demonstrated yet those same individuals have exhibited the exact same traits or committed the very same actions towards me and others. Projection allows people to unconsciously confront unacceptable feelings or impulses without directly recognizing it in themselves.
There is no need to fret, however, because within this defensive strategy is a hidden lesson. Do not judge people without evidence – – whether positively or negatively — via first hand encounters over time. Everyone does not think, feel or act the same way. Relationships unfold gradually and people will definitely “unveil” their trUe authentic selves by their ACTIONS – – eventually. Just wait for it ………..lights, camera, ACTION. If you allow for time to pass, you will be able to see yourself clearly (both positive and negative) and whomever stands before you.
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Still interested in Phychological Defense Mechanisms?!?!?
The study of neuroscience and how the brain learns has fascinated me the most during my educational experience. There is still so much to “unveil” in this field that it remains an evolving mystery as to our brain’s complete functionality and capacity even today. Even scientists still don’t fully understand the complexities of the human brain. It remains unclear the reach of our intellectual prowess as more research into the human gift of intuition is still being explored. Yet, we know that children are born with over a billion neurons “wiring and firing” making connections throughout their entire develop. With so much still unknown, questions abound about what constitutes a real life “genius” and to what extent are these abilities nurtured versus predetermined at birth or perhaps some combination of the two. Is our educational indoctrination system even structurally equipped to identify, nurture and support individuals with diverse talents at the “genius” level? If we BUMPED into one – – would we even know it? Perhaps we would simply view them as an exceptional child (most definitely trUe) or worst case scenario reject them as “weird” or “crazy”?
Meet a real life “genius” in 2022
The prospect of bumping into a real life “genius” could be described as a miracle or even a lofty prospect similarly to seeing a real life unicorn. Yet some educators have speculated that each of us are born with unique and different gifts, talents and proclivities that could be called “genius” if allowed to grow and develop. Cultivating these talents would require an educational indoctrination system along with educators who have the ability to nurture this level of individuality, creativity, critical thinking and uniqueness in order to support such gifts. Our current educational system with its varied checks, balances and assessments often does not support such freedom of expression in all subjects within the normal school setting even though educators try desperately to help each student.
So, what attributes constitute a “genius” you might ask? For the sake of discussion, we will use the premise that most individuals considered to be at the “genius” level status possess the following:
Independent thinking (not a copy cat and isn’t afraid to break the mold, explore new concepts and ideas)
2) An unbroken passion, interest and concentration toward something
3) Excels in logical, abstract and creative thinking
The genius mathematician, Albert Einstein, once said, “I am not more clever. I just sit longer with a problem”. If this sentiment is true, it just may be the key personal trait one must posses to achieve the “genius” level status. Commitment to one’s gift(s) no matter how big or small, mundane or glamorous, simple or complex might just be the cornerstone for cultivating one’s unique passion or SUPER POWER. It should be noted that this does not mean that “others” or the world will acknowledge you for the effort. It often takes time for us regular people to catch up.
Children could be considered “geniuses” at birth since they are born seemingly knowing very little but have the neurological capacity to learn so much after exposure to stimuli, other humans and within the educational indoctrination system. American developmental psychologist and educator Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences proposes that “people are not born with all of the intelligence they will ever have”. This theory challenged the traditional notion that there is one single type of intelligence, also known as “g” for general intelligence, that only focuses on cognitive abilities. So what happens to make some loose this gift – – “g” – – or forget their own innate special SUPER POWERby the time they are finished schooling? Not surprising, most of us are acutely aware of the limiting parameters placed on the educational system where we continue to use antiquated strategies and outdated curriculums and standards, teach incomplete HIS-story (conformity, norms and traditions), tolerate group think and action while free independent thinking is not encouraged or supported, materialism has replaced substance and authenticity and life long learning is not widely hailed. These limitations often create the perfect conditions that limit the intellectual growth and potential for ALL children before they even have the opportunity to fully embrace and explore who they are and their unique gifts – – “g” . In recent years, it has become painfully obvious that the typical American has definitely been indoctrinated to accept conformity without questioning and to reject facts and trUth.
Both Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist Nikola Tesla and Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan faced rejection and condemned for their gifts and ideas but the belief in themselves and their unique gifts – – “g” – – proved too powerful to ignore. This is a perfect example of how those with unique abilities are not always nurtured or recognized. Our formal compulsory educational system also has limitations.
We also know that there is still so much more to explore about how the brain learns and the study of neuroscience. Our school systems tend to favor those who exhibit intelligences in the areas of math or linguistics while ignoring the others. If a student is not good at math or linguistics, they could still be “gifted” in other subjects. Many of the other gifts are not traditionally labeled as “gifted” but why? Our compulsory educational indoctrination system has not been set up to provide individualized instruction which has been typically reserved for the wealthy and others with the means to afford to hire tutors to address individual students’ needs. Since each student differs from one another, there is no logical reason to teach and assess students identically either. During COVID-19, however, we have now seen how technology – – along with master teachers – – can make it possible for more students to access a wide variety of teaching modalities and assessments depending on their needs and abilities.
As we evaluate the future of our educational indoctrination system, let us continue to support the notion that within its sacred halls are lots of “geniuses” with gifts – – “g” – – in every subject if allowed and encouraged to blossom. My only wish today is that we begin to fully appreciate the innate potential of ALL children without stifling their individuality and uniqueness. So I’m tossing this wish out into the atmosphere hoping it will resonate. CHANGE can happen even in the way we view “geniuses” – – from being rare SUPER humans to everyday human BEINGS. We owe it to the millions of children being born with unique voices and perspectives still waiting to be “unveiled.
I come with no wrapping or pretty pink bows. I am who I am, from my head to my toes. I tend to get loud when speaking my mind. Even a little crazy some of the time. I’m not a size 5 and don’t care to be. You can be you and I can be me. I try to stay strong when pain knocks me down. And the times that I cry are when no one’s around. To error is human or so that’s what they say. Well, tell me who’s perfect anyway.
The power of the black woman is vast because her beauty is strength, endurance, and love. It is not only a beauty of outwardly measure; It is a feeling of profound stillness. Her eyes show the depth of what she has triumphed over. Her skin is her glory. Her natural hair is her crown. Her experiences are etched through time. When she cries, there are vast oceans formed but unseen to the naked eye. Her anger is unmatched; it’s a solid storm. But when she’s happy, the trees grow, and the Sun shines.
You could travel up the Blue Nile with your finger, tracing the route while Mrs Tilscher chanted the scenery. Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum. Aswân. That for an hour, then a skittle of milk and the chalky Pyramids rubbed into dust. A window opened with a long pole. The laugh of a bell swung by a running child.
This was better than home. Enthralling books. The classroom glowed like a sweet shop. Sugar paper. Coloured shapes. Brady and Hindley faded, like the faint, uneasy smudge of a mistake. Mrs Tilscher loved you. Some mornings, you found she’d left a good gold star by your name. The scent of a pencil slowly, carefully, shaved. A xylophone’s nonsense heard from another form.
Over the Easter term, the inky tadpoles changed from commas into exclamation marks. Three frogs hopped in the playground, freed by a dunce, followed by a line of kids, jumping and croaking away from the lunch queue. A rough boy told you how you were born. You kicked him, but stared at your parents, appalled, when you got back home.
That feverish July, the air tasted of electricity. A tangible alarm made you always untidy, hot, fractious under the heavy, sexy sky. You asked her how you were born and Mrs Tilscher smiled, then turned away. Reports were handed out. You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown, as the sky split open into a thunderstorm.