They were burned at the stake, “treated” with electroshock therapy, but represented and do represent 7-15% of the population.
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In educated and sensible societies, they are fully vested members of society – a bit different, but at the same time just like the others. No one focuses much attention on their “difference”. It never occurs to anyone to call them sick or wrong. If someone tries to talk about this difference as an example of “improper parenting” or a “sickness”, then the “theorist” creates a confusing impression about himself. In Europe and the rest of the world, this “difference” is accepted without much debate as a fully normal and self-evident phenomenon.

Scientists have found that 7-15% of the global population differs from the majority in this regard. It is thought that there may be around 500 million people of that type. Scientists have also found that there are more men than women in this group, and they are more emotional, creative and artistic. They are also richer. A study conducted at Lafayette College in 2006 found that men in this group tended to earn 15-26% more than others.

Ruling the world

The proportion of these people is unusually high in the creative professions. Many distinguished and outstanding actors, writers, composers and artists represent this group, with several of them universally known as geniuses. Conspiracy theory fans sometimes claim that they rule the world, and there is some reason to believe that. Scientists have found that many of them can perceive and process information more quickly and effectively, and that means that they often become successful leaders. Among them there are very influential politicians and military leaders, at least three are of whom are seen as historical legends.

Despite all this, these people were viewed with suspicion until the latter part of the last century. In many countries the difference was seen as a departure from the norm, an example of poor parenting or even as a sickness. Even comparatively recently – in the mid-20th century – there were attempts to “cure” them with hypnosis, psychotherapy, electroshock therapy and even brain surgery. In the former Soviet Union, it was only around 1986 that it was declared that such people deserve an understanding and supportive attitude.

Servants of the devil

The attitude of the church was the most horrible of all. During the Middle Ages, fanatic participants in the Holy Inquisition burned these people at the stake, because they claimed that the individuals were possessed by the devil. During the 19th and 20th centuries, children with this difference had big problems at church schools, with frequent attempts to use physical pressure to force them to behave “properly”. By the 1920s, scientists had determined that this difference was no pathology, and in the 1970s it was clear that it was no sickness; instead it was a specific aspect of a human being just like body structure and eye and hair colour. Most scientists today admit that people are born with this difference, and in very rare cases does it emerge later in life.

To be sure, they still face various everyday inconveniences. Those around them look at them as being peculiar, and in some areas, particularly in sports, they are dangerous opponents. And yet no longer do people feel that they are “wrong”, and no one even thinks about claiming that they are victims of laziness. Even church representatives today are shyly silent about their recently dark attitudes toward such people. Even the most experienced conservative members of society no longer attack them with moralization. The issue is not even a topic for politicians who firmly believe that the world was once as flat as their thinking is.

No one normal, everyone special

In a civilised and educated society, talk about how “wrong” such people are ended long ago. To be sure, that required time, knowledge and common sense. No one can even suffer a nightmarish vision about the idea that the “morality” of such people should be discussed in passionate public disputes or that police units should be mobilised in places where they try to assemble. In several countries in the world, they do tend to come together at events to confirm their solidarity. They are a natural component of societies in which there are no “normal” people, and everyone is special. These are societies which respect universally accepted differences, where people are judged on the basis of their skills, abilities and human properties.

Who are these people? What is this story about? The story is about people who always have been, are, and will always be amongst us. They are people who cannot be retrained or burned at the stake, because they are a completely natural component of our society, 7-15% of us.

Left-handed people.

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