What’s your definition?
There is probably no word that conjures more images of advancement and change. Indeed, there are copious examples of how a select few have changed our world. Obviously, using the words ‘copious’ and ‘few’ in the same sentence is non-reflective of this concept. However, there are quite a lot of examples throughout history. When you consider we are currently approaching 8 billion people on our planet, even a minuscule percentage is quite a large number; way more than I can discuss here. So, what constitutes genius?
Genius is often described as: exceptional intellectual or creative power, or other natural ability. What I glean from that, is that you can’t aspire to be a genius, if you don’t possess the capacity to become one. I doubt seriously that few of those who possess this intellectual capacity of genius, actually expand their cognitive capacity in the pursuit of being recognized as such. They have the gift of extraordinary ability, combined with insatiable curiosity and uncompromising drive. It would seem that ‘good enough’ is never quite good enough; there is always another layer of the onion to be revealed.
For me, genius is best exhibited when these extraordinary abilities are revealed, despite all odds seemingly being against them. That doesn’t diminish the achievements and contributions to society of those who came up with a privileged pedigree. What it does for me is demonstrate not simply genius, but greatness. Sustainable excellence that stands the test of time. Those who relentlessly pursued a goal, without concern for monetary return. There’s nothing wrong with making money, we all need to do that. The purest cream of genius rises to the top, simply because it’s the right thing to do. No other reason is required.
So, these ‘best of the best’, these altruistic geniuses, exist at a level we can only appreciate and admire. Here are two of my examples: Genius in agriculture can be none other than George Washington Carver. Mother Teresa, displayed through her actions; a genius for compassionate self-giving.
Who are your geniuses; how do they inspire you?