What is genius? We do seem to toss that
word around quite a bit. Automatically, we conjure up images
of the stereotypical genius with flying hair and manic eyes,
or a prodigy with fingers traveling swiftly, almost
supernaturally, over piano keys. At school, genius is
obvious...or is it?
One easy cop-out for measuring genius is
the GPA system, class rank, and grades in general. Man, a
kid must really be a genius to have made that arduous climb
to the top. However, after a while, the ramifications of
using such a system become problematic; loopholes and
inconsistencies can be found in the system. Such as lazy
geniuses. And the graduated credit system, where some
classes are weightier than others. So then we realize, quite
quickly, actually, that grades mean little in the “genius”
scheme of things. Hey, if a person’s a genius, a haughty and
unconcerned demeanor towards work must be the way to go.
Therefore, the latter becomes the new
vision of genius – that it’s some hidden savant in idiot
disguise. Oh, yes! Everyone loves an underdog. So, of
course, this definitely augments the aura of mystery and
excitement in our idea of genius. Who wants to look at
bespectacled losers that pore over books when we can prize
apart the tangled meshes in the minds of a hidden genius?
Much more exciting.
But then this gets silly. Because, after
all, to what extent can you go about assuming that every
cool, sit-back-and-relax kid that snaps in a choice comment
every now and then is a genius? And where do we draw the
line between “hidden genius” and random strokes of luck with
answers? So, then we want a more rigid paradigm, something
This is where schools of thought like
Thomas Edison’s come in. Edison once said that genius was
one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent
perspiration. After all, the geniuses the world knows about
slaved away, worked to their limits, and then, and only ten,
were they famous geniuses. Einstein pored over his equations
and thoughts quite a bit. Kant spent numerous hours glaring
at church steeples. Darwin explored, noted, postulated,
wrote, threw away, etc. Maybe, then, the true measure of
genius is passion for something, a passion so great that it
become s amplified after that passion is truly indulged in.
But then this makes genius seem
achievable for any individual. And, despite what western
society posits, underlying truths indicate that the
oft-quoted Animal Farm message is true, that, generally,
some are more “equal” than others. Talent is beautiful but
disregarded in society as a taboo, almost a profanity. The
same goes for beauty or inherited wealth. Anything that
seems not to be the fruit of our labor is pushed aside.
But, really, why else would Mozart have
his ken, or da Vinci his inspiration? To some extent,
inspiration is certainly about an individual’s surroundings
and situation. But, again, some of it all must be attributed
to something natural. So when does genius start and when to
proactive measures and influences begin?
To me, genius has always been about
perception and the ability of an individual to tap into
something that others can’t quite as ably do. A genius
conveys an easiness, a dexterity, a quickness. But, then
again, to what extent is that quickness acquired, and to
what extent is it innate?
Humm...So, I guess I’m not much of a
genius because, uh, I still don’t know.