Ample proof exists in history that “mad men” (and women) made better leaders than normal folk. Abraham Lincoln suffered deep depressions, heard voices, and had startling visions. Winston Churchill suffered from bipolar disorder. What these men struggled with made them sharper and better able to recognize and act on problems.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy Jr. dealt with the specter of mania, which enabled them to become resilient, to learn from failure and start over. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, General William T. Sherman, and Ted Turner benefitted as well from “unconventional” brain function.
The research of Nassir Ghaemi and his team in the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center is a testament to what can become of people with “brain glitches.” Consider also Albert Einstein and Issac Newton. Both exhibited the classic signs of autism spectrum (more specifically Asperger’s syndrome), as did Nikola Tesla.
The Flip Side of ADHD: Creativity, Intuition, Daring...
Nothing amazes more than the flip side of ADHD. Its positives are striking: creativity, energy, intuition, nonlinear minds that abstract, risk taking, entrepreneurial spirit, adventurousness, courageousness, curiosity, daring, cunning, and ability to thrive on the new and different.
ADHD is actually a gene mutation that first appeared in the human family about forty thousand years ago when the human race was faced with extinction (weather, earth changes, famine). Genetic scientists dubbed it the Hunter’s Gene for the way people who had it struck out on their own and became hunter/gatherers. The gene then became quiescent in the human family, showing up in large numbers only when populations were threatened (war, famine, disease). Thus whenever the human family faced a “crash,” the gene would pop up, then fall back in when need lessened.
Today, the ADHD mutation has suddenly leapt sky-high, up 600 percent in the U.S. population since 1990, with a significant rise in other countries as well. Thomas Edison had it; so did many other inventors and far thinkers. For this reason, it is also called the Edison Gene.
Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something about the future with the recent explosion in ADHD cases? Are we drugging into submission the very people gifted with the specific energy and daring needed to once again save the human race?
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The Free Thinker is Labeled by Society: "Deviant"
Any society labels a free thinker a “deviant.” Yet such folk tend to flourish when others struggle. Find a deviant thinker who is positive and you have someone who can not only fire up a community, but draw from the wisdom of the group to organize potential, reduce violence, and put those to work who will.
These individuals find unique ways to handle seemingly insoluble difficulties. They spread and sustain needed change. And they are everywhere.
In September 2010, Ode Magazine ran an article about outliers who succeed against all odds; it referenced the book The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems. Consider this book a must-read if you want to understand the new kids. They literally use their own bodies and lives as the “tool box” they experiment with to see what works and what doesn’t and what can be done to change outcomes. Their perspective (how they think) wraps around a unique fulcrum point that deviates from society’s norms . . . that of the outlier.
Take Mozart. He was said to have once mused, “We would not be creative at all if it were not for all these boundaries and limitations.” And he pushed them, every boundary he could find, driven to capture the soul of how music felt to him. He lived at a time when Europe was abuzz with souls just like we have now — then for the Renaissance; now for the coming change in human consciousness.
Differences Between Brains are Enriching and Essential
Thomas Armstrong explains it this way: “People with conditions like ADHD, dyslexia, and mood disorders are routinely labeled ‘disabled.’ But differences among brains are as enriching — and essential — as differences among plants and animals. Welcome to the new field of neurodiversity.” He shows how your brain is a “rain forest” with a tremendous ability to transform and alter with changing times.
To medicalize and pathologize differences misses the point, and puts society itself at risk of losing the very diversity needed for enriched and healthy continuance. For example, dyslexics often have minds that visualize clearly in three dimensions, those with ADHD have a more diffuse attention style, and the autistic relate to objects better than to people. We need them, all of them.
Seven basic brain disorders exist: ADHD, autism, dyslexia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, intellectual disabilities, and schizophrenia. All of them create distinctive ecosystems that make the “tolerance mantra” of the new children an authentic, in-your-face truism. “We’re differently able,” they assert. “Reordered, not disordered.” They insist that “your weakness is uniqueness.”
The "We" Generation
Catch this: the majority of today’s children are not just groupies. They tend to think as if in unison, as if a “we,” and make choices as though in step with a level of consciousness they hardly notice. Social networking is part of that; still, it’s almost as if the young possess a “hive mind” that thinks, moves, and acts on cue, irrespective of iPhones and Twitter.
Today many rant, rave, text, or “YouTube” even the slightest affront or retort — as if giving full attention is a thing of the past, sitting in a chair a waste of time, and silence somehow obscene. Everything to them — movies, sporting events, concerts, church services, lectures, speeches, tours — is interactive. Distraction comes with the show.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Bear & Co. (a division of Inner Traditions International).
©2012 by P. M. H. Atwater. http://www.innertraditions.com
Children of the Fifth World: A Guide to the Coming Changes in Human Consciousness
by P. M. H. Atwater.
About the Author
Dr. Atwater is an internationally known researcher of near-death experiences and a near death survivor, as well as a prayer chaplain, spiritual counselor, and visionary. She is the author of numerous books including: "Future Memory", "We Live Forever: The Real Truth About Death" and "Beyond the Indigo Children: The New Children and the Coming of the Fifth World". Visit her website at: www.pmhatwater.com