Wednesday, March 16, 2005

So what's wrong with being an outsider?

Chris Correa has an interesting post from the Boston Globe about Einstein and how part of what helped him do what he did was that he was an outsider. Chris made the comment
I wonder about what lessons to take from this. Most outcasts don’t fare that well. And most people are not as smart as Einstein.
I cannot speak from anything but my own experience, but I would have to disagree with Chris.

I think, first of all, that there is a difference between an ousider and an outcast. When my children were young, we moved a lot. They were always outsiders. Because of that, they turned to reading. They all three learned to read, basically, when we moved to different countries where they knew no one. That exposure to reading developed the habit that has allowed them to go on and do some of the great things they have.Granted, none of them has come up with a theory of relativity. Those kinds of things don't come along very often, as Chris pints out. But I would definitely have to say that in many ways, being an outsider was good for my children. It allowed them to explore who they were as individuals and, I think, to do some good things they might not have done had they been part of a group.

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