The Flaws of Genius

We live in a world where cowardice is not frowned upon, it is valued.

The legend of Spartans, that they sent out their kids in their early years to fight for their own survival, in which way the weak and cowardly were weeded out, and only the strong and brave remained, today that would be called savagery… But was it really?

Is there not some semblance of logic, if not in the tradition itself, at least in the fact that as a society they were sending the message that cowardice is not okay? That a person’s weakness should not be upheld as a good thing? Why is it that in society today it is wrong for someone who is good at something, to flaunt that he is good at it. If a man excels in any field far more than everyone else, and he shows it, he is called arrogant and a show off, and ostracized.

There was a time when this was not so. Geniuses were allowed to state publicly that they were geniuses, and they were loved all the more for it.
When George Best was asked, “Who do you think was the greatest player of all time?”
He answered, “I am.” It was simple. It was the truth. He knew he was, so why shouldn’t he say it?
Eric Cantona would turn up his collar every time he was on the pitch. Because he knew, with certainty, that on that pitch, he was the king. It was not arrogance, it was confidence.

Every genius has his flaws, but instead of harping on about his flaws in an effort to make him human, I say we should ignore his flaws on light of his extraordinary ability otherwise.
It’s the least they deserve.

I do not say that humility is not a quality. It definitely is. But does that mean necessarily mean
its absence is a flaw?

Today we are at a point where a talented person who is humble is rated higher than one who is not.
Why? Is their ability not the same?
Certainly if a man boasts great deeds and does none, boasting can be stated to be, quite rightly, a flaw.
But if a man has the ability, what then? Is his proclaiming that fact not honesty? Why is it looked on with the same disapproving stare as the one of the vain boaster?
Can a person who is superior to others not acknowledge that same fact? Does he have to falsely cover his abilities in the blankets of normalcy in order to not let the others feel inferior? Is this what our world has come to, where a master of an art is forced to conceal his brilliance just so that the common man watching him does not feel inadequate? Should we not work to cajole the master’s feelings rather than the ordinary mans? For who is it that has done our species a bigger favor? The master, the pioneer, the leader, the risk taker, the one who excels? Or was it instead the layman who sat gaping at these wondrous deeds?

The answer seems obvious. One must strive to make conditions ideal for geniuses to develop. Even geniuses have room to evolve, but we must let them take their evolution in the right direction and not seek to pull them down to our level.

Today it is considered the duty of the genius to educate the less enlightened so as to bring them up higher than they’d ever get on their own. If the genius chooses to do this of his own volition, I have absolutely no problems. I salute him.
The problem arises when he is expected to teach, even if he is not so inclined.
If you force a genius, against his will, to educate the less talented or intelligent, using up time which he could instead have been using to further his own skill and achieve heights never scaled before, are you not crippling progress? Are you not sacrificing the discovery of the unknown just for the noble, yet thoroughly impractical process of making man work slightly above his own capacity?

Let us say Darwin was coerced to teach people less knowledgeable about biology at a time when he could have been doing his research to perfect the theory of evolution.
Are you not doing a greater disservice to mankind as a whole for the benefit of a few hundred or even thousand people?
Those same students, who at the end learnt a bit more about biology than they would have alone, would they not have profited more if they had not learnt at all, but Darwin went on to perfect the theory?

A humble and charitable genius is an idea that is nice to think about, but I would much rather our geniuses concentrated on being geniuses and we common idiots can take care of the charity and humility.

We have reached a point where we are now even scared of telling kids they failed. So now a kid cannot fail until he is in the tenth grade. One of the single most ridiculous ideas I have come across.
A kid needs to be told he failed, in order for him to want to improve. If you tell a kid that everyone who races, regardless of whether he wins or not, is a winner, you are removing the very incentive the kid needs.

Effort-reward. The dynamic is simple. If a kid wants a reward, he must strive for it. If he does not win, his effort was not good enough, he must try harder. But if a kid who tried harder is treated the same as someone who did not, you are demotivating him. You are discouraging the people who possess the ability to go the extra mile from using that very ability. In short, you are restraining them from excelling.


To protect the feelings of the mediocre.

What this does is it sets a dangerous trend. Parents now learn to teach their kids according to these rules. When the child commits errors, parents prefer to make the child think it is okay rather than admonish him. This is the coward’s way out. A child has, obviously, a child’s brain. If at such an impressionable age, you give the impression that it is not his responsibility to improve and adapt, but it is the world’s responsibility to accept who he is, you are destroying the child’s life in one fell swoop.
Congratulations, you have now raised a child who will never take responsibility for any mistakes he makes!!

It is argued that some kids do not take criticism well, and they break down under it. And their performance would decline even below their normal average just due to mental stress.
For this reason they try and outlaw criticizing a child.

The way I see it, if a child cannot cope with criticism, and he cannot motivate himself to become better, he is mentally incapable of a decent survival anyway. The world is not a place that wants to encourage you to do your best, the world is a place that wants to eat you up the second you stumble.
And if a child cannot prepare himself for that, he is not good enough. And to compromise the development of superior children for the temporary welfare of this one child seems to me to be idiocy.

Today we are supposed to be diplomatic, politically correct, sensitive. What they really mean is, we should shut up and do what we are told. Seems a recipe for disaster to me. I would much prefer a world where the genius rose above and beyond the rest, and were allowed to soar to their heights, while the layman went about his daily pell mell. Humanity did not evolve to the point it has by everyone being equal, it did so by a pioneer leading the way and the common mass following.

Let the genius be a genius, let the common man be common.


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