The Cost of Genius
When you hear the word “genius”, what does it mean to you? Does it bring to mind someone who has a high IQ? Of course it probably does. This is what we have had instilled in our minds throughout our lives, that a genius is someone who is incredibly brilliant. But who came up with this idea anyway? Who decided that certain things equal brilliance as compared to mediocrity? Did someone have the right to dictate to us that an IQ test score is what makes someone intelligent? Whoever it was, perhaps that person wasn't above average intelligence themselves. What about emotional intelligence, creativity, and street smarts, as well as common sense? A real genius to me is more of a renaissance man or renaissance woman, in that the person is well-rounded and skilled in many areas. So, do you know anyone who is brilliant and well-rounded? Genius doesn't mean perfect. Genius doesn't mean a hassle-free life. I believe that the talents that geniuses are born with, such as math, cognitive and creative skills, must be nurtured socially and economically in childhood or they die on the vine, with rare exceptions. Everyone has heard of the mad scientist or the absent-minded professor. But a look at some of the ordinary and extraordinary imperfections of a few great minds reveals that geniuses are just like us. Albert Einstein, who came up with the theories of special and general relativity, enjoyed the company of other women while he was married. His second wife was his first cousin. He lived with her for five years before divorcing his first wife with whom he had a child before they were married. Marie Curie, who discovered radioactivity, lived with her husband in a sparsely furnished apartment because she hated housework. While the couple did their research in a leaky shed, they had little money and would cheer themselves up by sitting next to the stove with a cup of hot tea. She later received two Nobel prizes. Paul Erdos, one of the 20th century’s greatest...
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