Sunday , January 17 2021

Behind the intellectual gifts of people, Singapore's news and stories

More than three decades ago, I was not able to grab a place in the GEP program.

I was in one of the first groups who went through specialized English language tests, maths, and general abilities to uncover the first 1 percent of intellectually gifted children.

Then he did not choose for GEP was not a big deal because few people knew what he was doing.

Not anymore.

Today, GEP – which marks its 34th year this year – has become an integral part of Singapore's educational landscape and its places are desirable.


The Ministry of Education (MOE) was advised to issue this advice to parents on its website: "Parents should not enroll their children in the activity of preparing tests for identification exercise (GEP)".

Such activities could inflame students' grades, MOE said, and "students who are not ready to undertake intellectual strengh and the GEP's demands will struggle for the elaboration of the enriched curriculum and they would not be fully exploited." He also warned of unnecessary stress on the students and the loss of confidence.

Luckily for me, I'm never under pressure to make more money than I actually do.

Recently, however, I received an unexpected call to the symposium for the same GEP teacher that I did not qualify for nine years.

This surprising turn of events has led me to think of giftedness, a concept that encourages strong feelings as it is diminishing in the heart of the human feeling of self-esteem.

People say long ago they are gifted because it makes them feel good about themselves and hate to hear they are not.

I have seen this first hand because my friends and I have been teaching a workshop on spiritual gifts for many years. Consider the Christian Version of Gallup's Clifton Benefits.

Typical people's responses are fixing on gifts they believe to have or have a disadvantage, and are less interested in calling or duty to use their gifts to be used by others.

The message we are trying to find is that it is equally important to understand where someone is not giving away, as you can see where it is. This process helps each person decide where to focus on their energy and effort.

They have gifts and they do not have

Members of marginalized communities who have become convinced that they are less than miraculously made have a special need to confirm their gift.

That's why the song like Coldplay and Big Sean's Wonders (Someone Special) is so mobile. The official video of the song clearly shows that it is a hymn to the incredible heroes who were supposed to encourage refugees, migrants and minorities in search of their dreams.

It starts with the song Chris Martin:

"My father said he never gave up on a son,

Just look at how good Cassius was,

Muhammad, Mahatma and Nelson,

Do not be afraid to be strong. "

Rapper Big Sean joins:

"What if they say I'm not good

What if they say to come out of here, baby, you have no future.

Martin's objection:

"Now you could run and say they're right,

I will never be nobody in my life.

Or you could turn and say, do not wait for them to be wrong

And keep dancing your whole life …

"In you I see some special,

You have a fire in your eyes and when you understand

You go further than we've ever gone, just turn it on. "

Many different gifts

But is gifting just a matter of desire, to start the gift that is being sought?

Not so. No matter how hard I tried, I would never be able to rock like Martina or paint like Picasso.

What is important is the belief that each one of us is gifted, each in our own way and able to make a positive difference.

That is why this is a problem when giftedness is defined narrowly to exclude many or most people.

For example, GEP is closely geared towards intellectual gains. And although MOE states on its websites that people are gifted in different ways, including leadership, music and artistic ability, there is a tendency among parents to privilege intellect.

Yet none of the heroes who celebrated the Coldplay song mentioned above were remembered for their thinking abilities.

In addition to the men named in the first machine, the song also points out in its second room four women:

"Just look at what Amelia and Joan did

Oh Rosa, Teresa won their war

Do not be afraid to be strong. "


Four of these heroes stand out for their moral leadership (Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Teresa of Calcutta). Of the other three, Muhammad Ali was an outstanding boxer, Amelia Earhart, Air Force pioneer and Joan of Arc patriot and heroin hero.

This only shows that there is no universal standard of giftedness and that what the world needs is for each person to put their unique set of gifts in the best time and place they were in.


Most people I know hard to believe they are gifted.

Others hear me saying that everyone is uniquely gifted and that they turn their eyes on what they believe is my idealism in the form of yeast in heaven.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with being idealistic, even at my age.

After all, the great psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor and author Franklin had 67 years of age when he said in 1972 at the Toronto Youth Corp. gathering: "You will not believe it, but gray hair and my age I started to fly. Do you know what the flight instructor told me?"

Focusing on gifts also brings the benefits that we otherwise miss in our hopes of building a successful career and collecting wealth, qualities such as patience, generosity, courage, and mercy.
T-life-affirmation and far more reward than finding mistakes.

He then went on to describe how a pilot flying in the cross wind had to use a maneuver called "crabbing," which he deliberately headed north of his destination to land at the airport, from the beginning.

"This also applies to man, I would say," Dr. Frankl said. "If we take a man as it is, we exacerbate it, but if we overestimate it, if we do idealism and overestimate, we overwhelm a man and look high above it, do you know what's going on?

"We promote it to what can really be.

"So we have to be idealistic in some way, because then we end up being realistic realists.

"And do you know who said it? If we take a man of his own, we exacerbate him, but if we take a man as it should be, let him be able to become what he can be … this is Goethe," he said, calling to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, considered the greatest German literary in the modern age.

I found that anticipating and observing gifts of other wonderful ways to help them become all they can be.

Parents and teachers have a privileged position to do so for their children and students.

Focusing on gifts also brings the benefits that we otherwise miss in our hopes of building a successful career and collecting wealth, qualities such as patience, generosity, courage, and mercy.

It is a life that confirms and is far more rewarding than finding mistakes.

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