Difference, Identity, and the Power of Love

What is the difference between love and acceptance? Between disease and personality? Between difference and identity? Andrew Solomon takes up these and other questions in this moving talk on the challenges that face parents of extraordinary children – extraordinarily different, bright, difficult, and more. But as you listen, you’ll realize he is speaking about all parents, all whose destiny is held captive by the fate and fortunes of their children.

Based on the research and interviews he conducted for this remarkable book Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Solomon challenges us to reconsider the ideals we hold for and about our children in light of the reality – and gift – of the actual children in front of us. I was reminded while listening to him of a remark attributed to Martin Luther: “Ideals are of the devil.” Why would Luther say this? Because all too often our ideals – the ideal job, spouse, child, whatever – rob us of gratitude for the actual reality and gift of the situation or person God has created and put right in front of us. Not all will agree, I know, with some of the statements or stands that Solomon makes and takes, but all will, I hope, agree with his assertion of the power of love.

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