Monday, November 26, 2012

Give Thanks for Your Gifts: Inspiration from Temple Grandin

Rain Man's Rainbow by jurvetson, cc license
Jason and I like to listen to podcasts when we wash dishes and clean up the house every evening after Cadence goes to sleep (an exciting existence, I know). One of my favorite shows is Science Friday and, while catching up on post-Thanksgiving cleaning and a backlog of podcasts, I heard a segment they recorded with Temple Grandin. Among many other things, Temple Grandin is a teacher, a scientist, an engineer, a geek, an activist, and a person with autism. I find her to be an inspiration.

Temple Grandin has a uniquely objective empathetic ability and a keen sense of perception when it comes to understanding the world from another's perspective - be it human or animal. She is probably best known for using her unique gifts to design more humane slaughter houses.

One of the traits I most admire about Temple Grandin is her honest assessment of the world around her as well as her inside world. She brings this honest assessment to her own strengths and she has engineered a life that honors those qualities. Rather than wishing she were more like others or dwelling on differences, she values and celebrates the unique way she perceives the world and processes information.

Inspired by Temple Grandin and in the spirit of giving thanks and practicing compassion for self, I offer this reflection:

What are your unique gifts? Why are you grateful for them? What can you do this week to honor your gifts?

You can see the Science Friday video of Temple Grandin here, and if you have not yet seen it, I highly recommend the 2010 HBO movie, Temple Grandin.

Like what you're reading? Sign up for my Good In, Good Out E-Newsletter: A steady diet of good stuff to fuel your soul, mind, and body! 

You can also sign up HERE if you are not able to see the form, below. 

Subscribe to the Good In, Good Out newsletter:

* indicates required


  1. I am so excited that you mentioned this woman - I read about her a long time ago in an article about Autism. It is wonderful that she embraces how she is or she would never have contributed to the world the way she has.

    I always joke about my awesome hugs but I have so many confirmations that they are. It is the full embracing of another human and all they are, literally and figuratively - I like to make sure it counts! :)

  2. I LOVE your thoughts on hugs - that's just beautiful!