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Life and Times of a Working Cowgirl

Everybody is a Genius

“Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid”
Albert Einstein

I have been described as both, “the stupidest person I’ve ever met” and “the smartest person I know”. The people passing these judgements had valid reasons for their beliefs and could substantiate their arguments to some degree. The difference between their judgment of my character was not based in emotion, it was not that one liked my and the other didn’t, they were simply measuring a single part of my ability as a human and ascribing my strength or weakness in that area to the entirety of my being. The question of the day is, which do I believe? Am I the fish that believes it’s stupid because it can’t climb a tree or am I the fish that believes it’s the most wonderful creature on the planet because it can breath underwater?

I like to believe that what people think about me is of no consequence, however I know that really isn’t true. Humans are social creatures and our ability to peacefully coexist  is based on caring what others think and feel about us. So where is the line? How do you listen to what people say, respect their opinions and find your genius? I think the first step is realizing that you are a genius, then accept the fact that life is better when you believe you can and fail than it is when you believe you can’t and fail to try.I frequently tell people I’m not any smarter than I was when I was young but after some many years of making mistakes I just know what doesn’t work so I get to the right answer faster now. Mistakes taught me, that just like the fish there are some trees I can’t climb but that doesn’t make me stupid it just makes me human. What makes me a genius is being willing to see what I can do.

Our country has just gone through an election where 48%” of Americans were disappointed. Our unemployment rate is far too high and our overall prosperity is far too low. Some people have characterized the bottom 47% of the income earners in the US as nothing more than worthless, stupid, shiftless, beggars who are where they are because of things they have or haven’t done. My question is how would each of us and our country benefit if we started looking for the genius in people. What would happen if instead of hiring people based on education we hired people based on aptitude? Does a plumber really need to have a bachelors degree? Is an accountant really good at his job if he can’t balance his checkbook? What if we started promoting and encouraging people to do what they were good at instead of promoting and encouraging them to do a job they don’t like just to make more money. How many more Albert Einstein’s are out there believing they are stupid  because they are being judged for what they can’t do instead of what they can?

Look at all the contributions one man, Albert Einstein made to our country and humanity. Isn’t it worth changing our perspective and the way we judge each other for the possibility of finding just one more genius like him? We are social creatures and we do care what people think of us, isn’t it a much more beautiful thought to look at our fellow humans and see genius. It’s a choice, is a fish really stupid because it can’t climb a tree?