A thinker sees
his own actions as
experiments and questions--as attempts to find out something.
Success and failure are for him answers above all.
1844 - 1900
As we grow older and wiser,
we learn to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, and accept them. We work to align our lives with the gifts we were born with, and cultivate them. This is a process of finding our place within the world.
As we recognize and organize our strengths,
we discover and expose ourselves as to who we truly are. Our discovered place in the world becomes the opportunity for the expression of our genius: our special set of gift(s) that we can contribute. It lies within all of us.
Some may say that they have little to contribute.
However, if we contribute small things greatly, true to our purpose, we will exceed those people who do great things poorly. For the small thing done greatly can be picked up, and magnified by another, and so by another.
True prophets and leaders want us to work towards
an honest recognition and admission of who we are, to see the beauty and strength in each of us, as well as for each of us to see and admit the beauty of others. With this honest perception of the self, the exercise of genius takes one to a higher spiritual plane.
By its nature, genius pushes against the boundaries
of culture, religion, society, environment. Boundaries serve a purpose and should be honored for what they are: a context that tests.
A nation or people or society is only as strong
as its individuals are empowered to rise to the level of their individual genius. When prophets and leaders encourage us to follow them, they are asking us to hear their message and empower our lives.
As social animals, our tendency is to
the message and to build belief systems and rituals. However, we need to be alert to when our spirituality, and genius, is limited by these constraints and that context. It may be that what is built up after the prophet and leader is contrary to his or her message.
Genius recognizes that we must honestly recognize
and meet with humility, even confront, those conditions in which we are placed. We set aside distracting influences and things of our youth since they are not true to who we are. Should we succumb to weakness, that which we are not, we need to recognize the test for what it is: either a miscalculation of our power, or an inappropriate response to our environment. If we go astray, act contrary to our purpose (we are not perfect) we must learn the lesson provided.
We hold steady, we join hands with those walking with
on our spiritual paths, learning that the genius of others will also guide us. Others will be there to lift us up. With them, our full genius takes us to the place where we can overcome digressions and transgressions. There is a super genius at work, that of we as people.
Don't restrict yourself to the standards!
Consider them standards and build on them. Practice the basics, then don't be afraid to move away from the normal and think outside of the box, or the textbook!" (Colin.C.Saxton)
Read widely and deeply.
In addition to being a statesman, diplomat, author of the Declaration of Independence and President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was a notable agriculturalist, horticulturist, architect, etymologist, mathematician, cryptographer, surveyor, author, lawyer, inventor, paleontologist, and founder of the University of Virginia. As a 16-year-old college student, he studied 15 hours a day. His insatiable curiosity and disciplined study of a broad range of academic and practical disciplines were the basis for his exceptional accomplishments. President John F. Kennedy welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962, saying, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." (Gavin Ehringer)