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Reynard Custom Homes
  • Writer's pictureJack Baldwin

Temple Grandin

 Photo of Temple Grandin. She slight smiles, has short gray hair that curls up, blue eyes and freckles. She wears a bejeweled black button up and a red neck tie. Behind her, a field and small hills are seen on an overcast day.  Temple Grandin broke barriers with her 1986 book Emergence: Labeled Autistic, which disrupted misconceptions about living with autism. She recently coauthored Navigating Autism: 9 Mindsets for Helping Kids on the Spectrum, aimed at new teachers, parents, and psychologists. Photo courtesy of Temple Grandin
Photo courtesy of Temple Grandin

This Thanksgiving the family movie of choice was Temple Grandin (2010) starring Claire Daines. It's a film based on Dr. Temple Grandin.

It's a very good movie. Go watch it. Temple is an American academic and animal behaviorist. She is a prominent proponent for the humane treatment of livestock for slaughter and the author of more than 60 scientific papers on animal behavior. Grandin is a consultant to the livestock industry, where she offers advice on animal behavior, and is also an autism spokesperson. (Wikipedia:

I found Temple's story so inspiring because she faces some very unique challenges as an autistic woman fighting through a man's world in the Arizona of the 1960's.

In the movie, Temple (played superbly by Claire Daines) continually responds to her challenges by developing self-awareness, involving her community, and not quitting when obstacles are continually put in her path.

She has a laser focus on her mission. She is absolutely committed to providing better experiences for the cattle on the ranch she loves and understands so well. Temple is undaunted because she believes so deeply in the outcomes she knows she can create.

Because of Temple's commitment to her vision, she becomes a creator. She creates endless notes and articles, drawings, machines, solutions, ideas, and gadgets of all kinds to improve the cattle world.

Temple shows that creativity comes from a deep sense of belief and purpose. The ability to believe in something "no matter what" is a deep and meaningful commitment that is continually tested by a harsh and adversarial world.

That's why vision and creativity needs community and purpose to thrive. In times of doubt and despair, Temple finds support in the friends, teachers, and family members she has in her life who see her vision and foster it. Inside of her community she's able to find strength where she is weak and rely on advocates who can see the world the way she sees it.

When it's hard to believe in our vision, we all need need community to remind us why it really matters.

Every inspired dream causes us to act; to create.

Every inspired dream requires community and support to grow.

Every inspired dream comes from a deeply held belief that we can actually create something meaningful in the world.

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