I remember when I did Media Studies at GCSEs, we had to research about game shows and how they became so popular in the UK. We studied Mastermind, a BBC television quiz, and we studied Fred Housego, who was a taxi driver. He won the game show in 1980, which brought a wave of shock to everyone, because he was just a taxi driver. This impacted people’s mind-sets on what it meant to be somebody clever and the future of game shows. People, from all walks of life, obtained more confidence and hope, after Fred Housego won Mastermind, as it proved that you didn’t have to have a degree to be intelligent.
“Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.”
There are different types of ‘Genius’, which is something, I’ve found, a lot of people can’t come to accept or understand.
Having taken primarily science-y subjects for A levels, I’ve worked with, socialised and made friends with a lot of other science based students, since we are centred around the same areas of my school, we learn similar stuff and we all have similar goals, like working in medicine or labs or with telescopes, etc. And although all of that has taught me a lot and made me even more excited about learning new things in science, there have also been a lot of little discoveries I’ve made. A lot of these science-orientated people can be quite arrogant. I’m not saying all of these people I’ve met are but there have been a good share that are. They’re so pinned on their own ideas, for example, the big bang theory is the only way that the universe began. And that’s okay to believe that. I believe that. BUT, a lot of those people do not accept the fact that others think differently. They’ll believe that science is the only way, nothing else is true. I guess you can dismiss that point, considering some people are just strong about what they believe is true. Sure. However, I’ve also found that these science-y students think they’re entitled. Of course, if you’ve put in the hard work, you’ve studied, you’ve done your research, you’ve done every titration experiment and every calculation with great accuracy and care, you can have bragging rights and you can show off because you do deserve it. And obviously, you’ll know more about a subject you’re specialised in than someone who isn’t specialised in that topic. But that doesn’t mean you’re better than everyone else, just because you know the position of equilibrium or how to work out standard deviation.
I’m just basing this idea of people feeling entitled on science-based students, because that’s who I’m most surrounded by but I know this applies to other people as well like musical geniuses, etc.
I think the education system and the way society works, in general, is to blame for this, but I’ve noticed a lot of people comparing their intelligence by asking “okay, so then what grade did you get in maths?” to see who’s smarter. Grades are another thing that do not define intelligence. Academic intelligence is measure with grades. Being academically intelligent or not does not define whether you’re a genius or not. There’s actually a 0.2 correlation between IQ (intelligence best measure) and grades.
With all this rambling and venting, I’m trying to explain that not everyone needs to be a scientist or a straight A student or watch plays all the time to be somebody intelligent. I feel like nowadays, there’s a stigma around people, who choose to lead a more ‘chill’ creative path or work in other jobs like retail and services, assuming they’re not as clever, as their intelligence is not defined in society. It’s almost as if all these other smart people, from all walks of life, other than people involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) related careers and choices, are chucked onto this island of misfit geniuses because their ‘genius’ doesn’t fit in with what people think being a genius is. And that’s a shame because I’ve met a lot of people that are incredibly intelligent but don’t think so because they work in clothes stores and didn’t get good grades in school and society claims that means you’re stupid, which I think is a stupid claim.
I want anyone reading this to understand that you do not need to be a Darwin or Newton to be a genius. Referring back to Einstein’s quote, you just have to find and work at the thing you enjoy. Not everyone can be good at everything and not everyone is good at the same thing. If that was true, society and the world just wouldn’t work. Despite the people that hate differences, we do need difference.
You can be and do whatever you want to be and still be a smart individual so long as you work hard and maintain a positive attitude that you’ll succeed.