Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The owl with kaleidoscope eyes

Sensitivity has been a real issue in my world recently. I've been contemplating why its considered to be a weakness in our culture. I see it in the playground all the time. Boys especially are not allowed to be sensitive. They are told that they 'shouldn't' cry when someone yanks their toy and makes a run for it. The one who does the naughty deed is labelled as 'lively'.

So I'm venting. My little boy hates having his toys nicked from his hands. He hates being picked up by people he doesn't know very well or like very much. He is sensitive to scratchy things in his clothes, food at the wrong temperature, other people's moods. He is Sensitive.

Heightened sensory awareness is why lots of people take drugs. I have a friend who teaches five year olds who says its like they're constantly tripping. Seemingly out of nowhere, their mood can just flip. Sometimes its hard to tell what sparks them off. It could be something as subtle as a heavy garment making them too hot. We are very quick to label: that child is fussy. That child is shy. That child is a loner.

Then we grow up changing the way we act to suit the majority opinion. But I don't think we should get over any of these so-called 'weaknesses'. I think being sensitive is a strength. The overload of info may be overwhelming sometimes, but when its sorted much has been processed and understood.

So the eyes of my owls this month reflect my musings. I haven't had time to make more because my elbow has been hurting. And I have been reading a great book*. Can you guess what its about?

* The Highly Sensitive Child Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D


  1. love the top one!!! they're getting better every time! :)

  2. Well ok we grow up trying to change our way to suit the majority, but actually no one really succeeds with the project. Once a sensitive, always a sensitive, stubborn, shy, loner etc. We can only succeed in hiding it and the discovery is always a game we play with good friends.

  3. It is possible to overcome things like stubbornness or shyness. But sensitivity is different from shyness and the need to be alone. People just rush to make an assumption. On the other hand people spend their life trying to hide their sensitivity. It never ceases to amaze me how the biggest macho men are the most sensitive people of all. I have many examples. But why hide from all but your nearest and dearest? It just makes for a more boring society when people try to behave to fit a norm.

  4. Good post. I worry about when Layla will go to school she is 'sensitive' and 'shy' double whammy but I think she is very clever and very much who she is. So hopefully she will have the confidence to tell them all to F**k off!