I was reading this article this morning about how genius may not be as easy to find these days as it was when Einstein was around. I have no idea why, but I thought for a moment and then it hit me. Maybe the only reason why everyone thought Einstein was so smart is because there was just a whole bunch of shit we didn’t know back then. Hmmmm? Perhaps it wasn’t genius after all. Maybe it was just that he was one of the few people who were looking for answers past the everyday, common responses to problems and questions.
Today, there are even fewer of these inquisitive types out there. Most seem content to complain about what they don’t like, but never offer solutions to the problems. They may know what to do and they may in fact, have a genius-level solution to the issue; however, they are reluctant to share because they don’t want to be bothered with the repercussions of greatness. I see this all of the time. People out there who are willing to accept the status quo because they don’t want to do anything that might create more work for themselves. It’s astounding, really. For example, I recently had a substitute teacher fill in for me when I was out sick. I had left some lesson plans on my desk that included having our fourth and fifth graders read books aloud in front of the class. No, I wasn’t trying to torture them. They actually enjoy doing this. I give the students who wish to read a page the opportunity to do so. No one is pressured into doing this if they don’t want to. It gives them a chance to feel good about themselves, to feel important as they stand up there and tell a story. The point is to get them reading and listening.
In any case, I had a note from my sub when I got back that this exercise didn’t seem to go very well because some students weren’t reading loudly enough or whatever. She wrote, and I quote, “You make things much too hard on yourself if you don’t mind my saying…” I read this and I thought, “WTF, byotch?” This is what I think to myself when I hear something so absurdly stupid as her statement. How am I making things too hard on myself by allowing the kids to try their hand at reading aloud? Pardon me for trying to be creative. It really doesn’t hurt me at all to do this with the kids and when I’m working with them, I actually tell them to speak up or I help them sound out a word that is unfamiliar to them. That’s what teaching types are supposed to do, right?
Obviously, I was a little pissed about the comment. Granted, small minds often leave a trail behind them that shows they were there. Little destructions that tear down the progress the rest of us have been working doggedly to make. I’m sure this person isn’t stupid. Hell, she may be extremely intelligent. But, if you are lazy and somewhat unmotivated, it might come across to others that you are just an idiot. Nothing I can do about that one, she’ll have to work on that one herself.
The point of my ranting this morning is that the idea of being a genius may not necessarily be as great as what we once thought it was. It’s likely that lots of people have some unmotivated genius in there somewhere, but what good is it? Unmotivated brilliance is well, not very brilliant at all. It’s kind of dull, actually…kind of not bright…well, you get the picture.
To further illustrate what I’m saying, go out and get the movie, “Idiocracy” with Luke Wilson. You’ll see what I mean. It’s a movie about a slacker who gets cryogenically frozen and brought back in the future. He’s the most average person on the planet at the time he’s frozen, but by the time they thaw him, he’s considered a genius. Maybe that’s good news for some of us. Perhaps our mediocrity will serve us better in the future. Don’t stick yourself in the freezer just yet, though…
Until next time…