At a very young age Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism. She could not relate to the feelings of other people and often became overwhelmed by noises and other changes in her environment. Most people considered her a cripple, but her mother insisted that Temple not be institutionalized and instead found educators who would work with her daughter.
Although Temple paid a high price for her autism, she had an ability to see some things in ways that no one else could. While living on a ranch, she discovered that she could see and hear patterns of movement and sound from the cattle that she correctly interpreted as having significant meaning. Her insights have revolutionized the way cattle are herded and slaughtered, with untold savings in time and money for the food processors, along with a vast decrease in confusion and discomfort for the animals. She is now a university professor and speaks all over the globe on a variety of subjects.
It has long been the case that the innovations in the world have been made by people who are, well, different. If we were all the same, where would innovation come from? Such people are often thought to be odd, or even crazy, by those around them. But we need such people.
We need a little crazy, even in ourselves. Rather than eradicating these peculiarities in ourselves and others, we might consider being tolerant of them, perhaps even nurturing them and allowing them to benefit all of us.