“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.

–          Albert Einstein

I have another post from Al discussing great people who don’t really see themselves as great.

And I am not sure Albert really said this quote above but if he really did he really was a genius.

A frickin’ genius in looking at people around you.

So often we look for standards and test scores and performance reviews trying to assess how smart people are by constantly seeking to benchmark against norms and similar traits in groupings … and all that crap.

Look. I like tests. And I do believe tests can play a role.

But standards and norms are killing us. Ok. That is extreme. But I do believe that in schools and in the business place we are becoming so dependent on standards to judge each other that effective ‘non-normal’ individuals doesn’t get recognized.

Okay. Maybe a better thing to say is I am concerned all of this standardizing is killing creativity of individuality … and even worse … possibly the creative problem solver. And it makes it more difficult to judge ‘genius.’

We try and judge kids and have them line up in a row from tallest to shortest in terms of smarts and scores and tell them to climb the next test tree.

And sometimes the fish fails the test.

Yet the fish, in its eccentricity and individuality, when asked to breathe underwater?

Kicks ass.

Maybe because Al Einstein was a genius in his own right it was easier for him to be comfortable allowing everyone around him to be a genius too. I don’t know. I would like to hope it isn’t this way.

And while I began this talking about kids this entire issue bleeds into adulthood. The judging doesn’t stop simply because you have left the world of tests and standards and crap like that. Now the genius bar is degrees and titles and status.

But. I would like to think somehow … some way … that rather than believe everyone has to be a president or a Rhodes scholar to be a genius … that maybe the crew chief on Dale Jr’s car is a frickin’ genius. Not just about car stuff but people management and logistics.

Maybe you don’t have to be some vice president of somethingorother to be a genius and that maybe the mother who is bringing up a kid full time and working real estate on the side is a frickin’ genius in teaching respect and honor and responsibility and just plain getting shit done.

Unfortunately society doesn’t tell us to think this way.

Unfortunately life has established some pecking order that suggests you only qualify as a genius if you have done x, y and z.

But fortunately for us Albert (who apparently did x, y and z pretty frickin’ well) says it doesn’t have to be that way.

Fortunately for us we, the people, can elect to seek out genius if someone has just done their a, b and c’s in a way, and in an environment, that qualifies them for genius status.

Once again, good ole Al Einstein was a pretty smart guy.

Maybe we should pay attention.

Maybe we should find the fish around us and recognize their genius for swimming in a world where everyone else is seeking to climb some tree.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Written by Bruce