A FAMILY of YOUNG SOULS. talented and gifted
Our investment in young souls has a long, rich history. In 1975, just two years after SOM's incorporation as a not-for-profit organization, students initiated what became known as our Clean Up America project. The ideal was twofold.
CLEAN UP AMERICA
We would practice what we teach by being examples of thinking, conscientious, responsible individuals. We demonstrated this by cleaning major highways in the states where schools were located.
This caused quite a stir in some areas because governments were not used to citizens initiating action on needs. Some were pleasantly surprised. Governors and mayors proclaimed the second weekend in June as Clean Up America Days.
Others took longer to accept the new concept that many people love where they live and they are willing to be personally accountable for its beauty, safety, and appeal. It took three years to convince the state of Iowa that its people wanted to, could, and would perform this necessary function safely. Local SOM director and teachers became activists, even lobbying the state government for permission to clean their own roadways. Such challenges to Clean Up America were an amazing revelation in the state of collective consciousness at the time.
Those of us in the School of Metaphysics at the time found we were teaching more than we had anticipated. With each successive year we invited others to join us, and they did. Community clubs, school groups, church groups, friends, volunteered to help. In fact, largely because of Clean Up America, now when you drive through the Midwest "Adopt-a-highway" signs are quite prevalent with local groups claiming sections of roadway as their own responsibility to keep clean. By the 1990's we saw clear evidence that the impact of Clean Up America had swept beyond our highest ideals.
Demonstrating leadership in our communities
Building the leaders of tomorrow…today
This was also true in the realm of those we were serving through Clean Up America. The second part of our ideal was to collect pledges for the miles cleaned. From the very beginning the ideal included giving 100% of these proceeds to schools for the talented and gifted child. One of the benefits of practicing metaphysical disciplines is the realization of your talents and gifts. We wanted to encourage these in young souls, in children, so there might be less to unlearn or relearn in later adult years. We believed it would be easy to find schools for the talented and gifted. We were surprised to find this was not the case.
We learned that in 1970's United States much attention was being drawn to the handicapped or disabled child with almost none toward the meeting the needs of the exceptional child. In fact, "exceptional" child often referred to the "underprivileged". We felt very strongly that the talented and gifted child were natural leaders, children whose innate faculty for learning, reasoning, organizing, and initiating made them outstanding. Fellow students, and teachers, often did not understand their needs. Peers saw them as bossy or different or loners. Teachers expected them to take care of themselves, and often other students as well.
The first year of the project it was difficult to find a school solely devoted to the gifted. Even in subsequent years, the funds were given to programs in existing schools or specialized programs statewide. As the project continued, awareness of the needs of the talented and gifted grew for us and for many others. Through contacts with teachers and parents we learned amazing lessons which we then passed on through lectures and radio-tv-newspaper interviews. We were uplifted because we knew the work we were doing would make a difference in so many lives — the children, their parents, and ultimately all of us because these children are the leaders of tomorrow.
In the process we learned something else. We learned that most of us, the people of all ages and backgrounds who study metaphysics, were talented and gifted kids who grew up. Maybe we were recognized, maybe not, but we shared the traits of the gifted, what in today's terms would be called Indigo or even hyperactive. It was an astonishing revelation for many of us, and we wanted to be a part of supplying the new kids with a better, more wholistic learning environment so their subconscious talents and gifts, their innate intelligence could be nurtured and challenged, so they could become superhuman beings…..geniuses…..mystics……Spiritual Intuitive Man.
TALENTED & GIFTED CHILDREN
God has many descriptions
His form is that of a tree, green and glorious.
He smells like that of a rose, sweet and vibrant.
He feels like a satin pillow you’ll
never forget to take on a trip.
He tastes like cookies that your best
friend would bake for you.
He sounds like the faintest flapping wings
of a butterfly.
I’m thankful for teachers.