You Are a Genius

You are a genius.  I am a genius.  Hey!  Wow!  We are both geniuses!  Isn’t that awesome?!  In fact, most people I know are kind of brilliant.  At something anyway.  Now, I don’t know what your specific IQ is, but the way we measure intelligence around here is seriously questionable if you ask me.  And you should ask me.  I am a genius.

An exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work in science, art, music, etc.  That’s what the dictionary says “genius” is.  So science, art, music, or other original work.  What is “other original work?”  Kind of broad, isn’t it?  I have attended graduate school to learn about opera, and I am very good at music.  I don’t mean that in a bragging way.  And I don’t mean to imply that school is the reason I am good at music.  Check the definition.  A natural capacity.  I was born this way, yo!  So while I do believe, for instance, that everyone can sing, not everyone is a super amazing musical genius like me.

On the other hand, I am terrible at everything else.  I have no spacial awareness at all.  I cannot find my way out of a paper bag.  I have literally wandered around looking for where I parked my car for over five hours in the middle of the night.  Thank goodness they later invented smart phones.  My wife, though, she is a spacial genius.  She can take places she has only been to once, twenty years ago, in the dark, from the passenger’s seat while not actually paying attention, and then get you back to those places today.  She will recognize all the landmarks.  She is somehow connected to the magnetic field of the planet.  And I do not believe she went to school for this.  I think she may have been bitten by a radioactive compass.

I can write a song in very little time.  The music is just always flowing in and out of me.  Does that make me a genius?  I’ll tell you one thing; I can’t find my keys.  I can’t remember your name, even though you just told it to me.  I can remember the lyrics to every theme song from the 1980s, and I can instantly mash them up with various opera arias or pop songs on the spot.  But I can’t fix your car.  Or remember where it is.  My brother-in-law does not have any degrees, and yet he can fix anything.  He does not need any sort of schoolin’ to tell him where the parts of the motor go, or how such-and-such should fit together.  He is kind of a genius.  My wife can pack any trunk with any amount of things, up to infinity number of things.  She is kind of a genius.

The thing is, we as a society value different abilities, um, well… differently.  We like scientists, artists, and musicians.  We like Einstein, Michelangelo, and Mozart.  We define genius in those terms.  But why?  Why don’t we value the genius mechanics?  Why don’t we value the genius car-packers?  Why don’t we value the genius empathizers, Christmas tree decorators, hedge trimmers, and meeting runners?  And you know, I think on a personal level we do.  Just not on a cultural level.  And it can make people feel under-valued, under-appreciated, and under-happy.

But do not despair, those of you who doubt your own genius!  Do you know any social media geniuses who are incapable of impressing someone IRL (in real life, for you non-social media geniuses)?  Think of what their lives might have been like had they been born a few decades earlier!  What I am saying is, you may be a genius at something that has not been invented yet.  Or, conversely, you may be a genius at something that doesn’t really exist anymore.  Maybe try playing the theorbo and see what happens…

All I really want to say is that you are a genius.  By which I mean you are good at something.  You are naturally better at some things than others, and even if you don’t feel culturally relevant in your genius, do not lose sight of the wondrous gifts that make you special.  Obviously you suck at a lot of things too.  We all saw you try to play basketball that one time.  But that is not the point.  The point is to recognize your talents and take pride in them.  And if there really is nothing, nothing at all that you do any better than you do anything else, then congratulations.  You are the ultimate well-rounded person.  No strengths.  No weaknesses.  And honestly, that would be kind of genius.

Posted in Art, Music, Science, Tenor Tuesday.

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