“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” - Albert Einstein
You are a genius. Yes, you.
Maybe people – parents, teachers, society – told you directly that you were “stupid”. Or maybe it was said slyly, covertly, through low grades or minimal expectations for your ‘success’. Or perhaps it was communicated to you with eye-rolling exasperation at the way you did – or didn’t do – things. If any of this resonates with you, I’m here to tell you: They were wrong.
We’re taught to think that academic achievement, impeccable grammar, or a PhD represents intelligence, while bad grades, fewer degrees (if any), or manual labor professions represent some kind of ‘lower’ intelligence. That’s all a lie.
Academic achievement in an average American public school typically recognizes two or three types of intelligence: those who can study well, those who can memorize information from hearing or reading it, and those who learn what various teachers like and then oblige. There is no question that students who earn high marks do have terrific brains in this capacity. But this is merely one type of intelligence.
It may be hard for teachers or parents to see, but if we look deep beyond the labels of ADD, hyperactive, or “dumb”, we can and will see extraordinary, oftentimes untapped genius.
Genius is the auto mechanic who understands what a rotary engine is and knows how to fix it. Genius is the artist who intuitively frames, crops, and presents a stunning photograph. Genius is the athlete who gracefully runs a 5k or hits a home run. Genius is the woodworker who knows precisely how to cut 90-degree angles and secure them together to build a jewelry box. Genius is the daycare provider who patiently soothes and distracts a tantruming toddler. Genius is the chatty child who can make a room full of people laugh. Genius is the piano player, the painter, the dancer, the plumber, the dog trainer, the repairman. Genius is you.