It is GOOD to be Different!

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I love how there are so many choices now days for ways to learn as a child AND as an adult!  We can be creative in our thinking and how we gather our information.  I mean Really!  We can go to the internet for anything we want to know in a flash, and instantly have access to countless sources, in just seconds of the how’s, why’s, and where’s of pretty much any topic!  So with all this learning and knowledge, do we factor in the individual unique differences and how precious that is? For example, I am a much better learner if I am shown how to do a task, and can also read what I am being taught; particularly if it is a difficult or new concept – aka computer/ anything technology based.  How about you?  Do you learn better by reading, or seeing it demonstrated?  

I believe the most important idea in all of this, is to remember to be patient, do not compare and be appreciative of how YOU and OTHERS learn.  Seriously, isn’t it incredibly how distinctive and exceptional we are in our gifts and talents that we each bring.  Some of us may not come across as the sharpest knife in the drawer, however, what we have to offer is just as important.  Those who are incredibly intelligent are super valuable of course too.  My point is, to help each along to find our abilities, our skills, our talents, all that we can offer, to make life better for everyone! And that involves being creative, learning and growing in our own individual ways, with patient and capable people surrounding us all our life.    

The early life’s of Edison and Picasso make my point brilliantly. 




Thomas Alva Edison was born the last and seventh child.  He became quite ill and consequently was not able to begin public school until he was eight years old. The schoolmaster in charge was not at all impressed with the boy and in fact thought him incredibly stupid and impossibly to teach.  He and Thomas were constantly at odds over how Edison did not learn as the other children did.

Edison was a poor student. When a schoolmaster called Edison “addled,” his furious mother took him out of the school and proceeded to teach him at home. Edison said many years later, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had some one to live for, some one I must not disappoint.” (

It turned out to be quite a blessing because under the tutelage of his mother, Thomas was exposed to books and subjects at a higher learning and broader horizon of knowledge than he would have been at the school. In fact, by the age of eleven, he had his own laboratory in the basement which began the foundation of his experiments that would later change the world in which we live in.

Through his lifetime, Thomas Edison had created many inventions such as the electric light bulb, the phonograph, batteries, the telephone and he developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world.  In fact he held a record number of 1,093 patents, making him one of the most prolific and famous inventors of all time.

[Tweet “Is there someone YOU can help bring out their unique talents and abilities? @AMothersShadow”]




Pablito Picasso was a moody little boy who would rather play with his collection of dry leaves, seashells, pebbles and peach pits then he would with his nice toys.

One day he dipped into the tomato sauce and made funny scrawls on the kitchen wall, then took a piece of charcoal and doodled all over a newly washed sheet.  Two days later he scratched strange drawings into the living room wall.

Mrs. Picasso didn’t want to bother her husband with such news of their unruly son, who liked to relax in the evening by painting.

Hoping to solve the problems, Mrs. Picasso enrolled Pabilito into kindergarten.  He did not want to learn the songs, or play with the children.  During art time, he furioulys painted a big sun in the middle of a bright red sky. In front of the entire class; everyone knows the sky is not red, it is blue, the teacher scolded.

One Sunday morning while getting ready for church, Pabilito painted his little sister with an egg yolk, making her into a funny looking clown, painting her hair and her elegant rose-colored Sunday dress striped yellow.  That was enough for Mrs. Picasso, it was time for father to take charge now.

Mr. Picasso was called and told everything his son had done.  Mr. Picasso wanted to laugh, but didn’t of course.  He wanted to understand why his son was acting this way and how he thought.  So they went for a walk on the beach.  Father fell asleep and when he woke  he saw the most beautiful dolphin drawn in only one graceful line!  Suddenly the wave rolled up and washed the dolphin away right before his eyes.  Pablito’s father could not forget what he saw.

As soon as they got home he wanted to see everything. The scratching on the wall looked like a drawing done by a prehistoric man of a reindeer and bison running from men on horseback armed with bows and arrows. Father immediately took his son into his own artists studio, put a white canvas on the easel, gave Pabilito brushes and an artist’s palette and asked him to paint.

The young boy first pained a portrait of his sister, dressed in her rose-colored Sunday dress with ribbons in her hair.  Then he painted trees, landscapes, horses, lemons, doves, vases and the moon.   His father was amazed and realized that his boy had an amazing talented for drawing and painting.  He lovingly gave him all of his own painting supplies so he could admire and wonder at the great talent his son possessed.

When Pablito grew up, he became known as Pablo Picasso and shows us the world in his own unique and imaginative way; and is considered one of the most original and great artists of our time. (book , “Pablo Picasso” by Ibi Lepscky, 1984)


We are all fabulous and God allows us our agency to be different, learn in our own way and I hope we can keep this in mind as we are all on the path of life together; trying to just do our best.  Let’s remember to be a support that’s one He would be proud of as we encourage each other along. 

[Tweet “Let’s remember we ALL learn in our own unique way – so be encouraging of differences! @AMothersShadow”]

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016



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10 replies
  1. Tasha
    Tasha says:

    Wonderful encouragement, Carrie! Those are two very good examples let me add two more if you don’t mind! Walt Disney was fired as a editor from The Kansas City Star for his “lack of imagination”….and J.K. Rowling’s (Harry Potter Series) was rejected by dozens of publishers. It is good to be different. Not everyone will appreciate it but that’s OK. I didn’t realize Edison was home schooled! This was another great read! 🙂

    • Carrie Groneman
      Carrie Groneman says:

      EXCELLENT insight Tasha! I love those examples too and I’m so glad you added those for others to read. You always are so knowledgeable, thank you for sharing. Love your visits my friend!

  2. Janine Huldie
    Janine Huldie says:

    I love this and admit I learn best by doing what I am to learn hands on myself. But very interesting reading a bit more about the different ways that all can learn by and brought me back still to my education graduate coursework where I learned about some of these different techniques to help my students learn better, too.

  3. Diane Roark
    Diane Roark says:


    I needed this post. I am overwhelmed right now with how much I am learning. I truly need to focus on one thing at a time and now try to learn it all today.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lori Schumaker
    Lori Schumaker says:

    Carrie, such a great post! I think that just as we must parent each child to their unique bend, not getting too trapped in what or how it “should” be done, we must teach children according to their unique bend. It makes it difficult as a teacher, but so rewarding when you find that way to tap into the brilliance of a child and see that light-bulb go on! 🙂

    • Carrie Groneman
      Carrie Groneman says:

      I agree completely Lori and your counsel is wonderful. We are all so unique and individual, and supposed to be that way. It’s amazing that we do not celebrate that fact, but try to change each other to be the same. Thank you for coming by and giving your always welcome advice.

  5. Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton says:

    I love this lesson, we are all special and different, if we weren’t it would be such a boring world. I think one of the hardest things to do is to learn your differences, respect them and use them to help yourself and others. This is one of my favorite quotes:

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” anonymous

    Hopefully we will all learn to stop judging others for their differences and learn to appreciate them!!!

    • Carrie Groneman
      Carrie Groneman says:

      I LOVE that quote Nikki! Thank you so much for sharing that and your insight and advice. You always have gems of knowledge that are precious and so helpful. I appreciate them and I know my readers do also.


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