Merry Christmas: May the gifted give

"Emerald Waters" by Ruth Art

I came into this world a gifted child. I was given choose-your-own adventure books, logical thinking exercises, mind bending video games. A roof over my head and a full plate to eat. When I was finished Grade 1, my parents brought my brother and I to a suburb of Vancouver to get a better education. I was found to be ahead of my peers in school aptitude and placed in the gifted program. And I don’t regret any of that.

It is not what we are given in life that defines us, but what we do with what we have. I have been given so much and I realize that it is in me to give back. Take the water system for example: the river comes from the melting of ice-cap which runs to down rivers, creeks, and tributaries into lakes, oceans and puddles. From these bodies of water, the sun and wind evapourate the water which in turn rains down somewhere else replenishing the original water source. Being born into this first world is kind of like being snowed onto the mountain. You’re where it all starts.

Now if you were to stay on top of the mountain and never melt, there would be no more rivers, and no more lakes, and the oceans would become very salty. Fish would no longer survive, nor would plankton or algae or dolphins. Then the bodies of those once living beings would cease to support the birds and mammals that depend on them, and then ultimately people would disappear. But say if you were to let the processes of nature work. Then downstream there would be deer drinking from streams and going back to the fields of green grass where the wolves sometimes eat which feed the wasps, which feed the birds. And if you started in the lakes or oceans, you would go on to new lands and grow new forests.

In our world today there are usually two kinds of people: the gifted and the underprivileged. Neither is better than the other, but usually it’s the gifted that have the choice. They have privilege. They can store reserves in the high altitudes away from the oceans, or they can rain down on the Savannah. They can harden powder to ice, or they can melt in the sunshine and trickle into pools of emerald.