It’s OK to be different

August 21, 2016

Not very long while driving thru an estate. I came across a group of men wielding sticks and standing over a frightened child. I promptly stepped out of my car and demanded in an authoritative tone of a landowner – what is the meaning of this?

A man shouted angrily, this mischievous boy claims there is a talking tree in this orchard. Another jumped in, he’s fibbing as usual to scare us all! Yet another who was about to wallop the child screamed out, he’s always making trouble and the whole village has had enough of his nonsense!

I asked in a calm voice – where is this talking tree? Someone in the crowd exclaimed, ‘what the hell are you talking about? Trees don’t talk!’ I asked again, ‘where is this talking tree?’ Everyone looked at each other and soon they all turned to the boy and asked him to lead us all to the tree.

That was when I intoned sarcastically, so no one it seems even knows where the talking tree is?

Soon we were all standing before the majestic sprawling ficus talking tree. The crowd was murmuring. I took off my sunglasses and glared at them menacingly and in a whispering hush told them all sternly, ‘Shaddap! Can’t you see I am having a very important conversation here…are you all deaf!’

Soon the men who were once angry loosened their grips on their sticks and the crowd began to fall so very silent as they all strained their ears….that was when I noticed the boy flashed me a smile….I winked at him.


‘Some kids are just hardwired differently – they have a high degree of sensitivity. Despite what parents and educators may tell you, it’s not due to a deficiency in character. Neither are they necessarily anti social…it’s just the way they see the world and it’s certainly not something you, me or anyone else has control over….my feel is it’s this aspect that usually causes us great discomfort and anxiety…the idea that we are not able to exert full and total control over the child.

Sensitive children are very different – they’re very curious and perhaps more exaggerated in their reactions to situations. They certainly don’t act the way you’d expect a typical child should in many situations.

To me this is not something to fear. Rather it is something that parents, educators and stake holders need to broaden their knowledge by striving to understand.

Unfortunately, in Singapore, this is often seen as a character flaw.

But to me – it’s just the direct opposite. The reality is Mother Nature is incredibly fair and democratic – and I much prefer to see sensitive children as having a rare and valuable gift that rightly deserves nurturing rather than reinforcing the corrosive idea – why can’t you be like other kids.

As only since sensitive kids are able to experience the world at a higher level of consciousness than average children….that’s why they cry at the drop of the hat….throw tantrums easily and often react in an exaggerated manner….it’s a cry for help….as they don’t understand.

It is NOT them who are dysfunctional or even anti social and incapable of being productive and well intentioned human beings…rather the problem lies with those who expect everyone to be exactly like everyone else….it’s as if these unimaginative people can only see humanity in terms of ONLY black or white without any nuances of grayness – and it is this corrosive attitude that lies at the root of the problem and NOT the child.

Usually all it takes is an adult to sit this kid down and tell him in a brotherly tone, ‘it’s OK to be different…’s no big deal.’

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