(Originally published at Revolution Flame)
In the current age, it has become a well-established notion that geniuses are made, not born. Here I won’t debate on the picture the word “genius” paints on the canvas of one’s minds. Instead, I am here to discuss about the environment that plays a crucial role in the making of an intellectual person. Intelligence and brainpower are not something that travel through the genes. It is something acquired by individuals as they react to the stimuli sprinkled onto them from the environment which they inhabit.
We become a part of the environment in which we live, radically; and vice versa.
As I stated before, intelligence cannot be entirely classified as an inheritance. Even today, some people continue to believe that high intelligence is something God-gifted, that it is, present only in some chosen individuals; which, in fact, cannot be wholly denied. Contrary to this once-popular belief, I like to support the idea that intelligence and good cognition can be developed by any person (I mean every person!) provided he or she is enthusiastic enough to get the grey matter into action. A pretty decent case study to back this thought is as follows:
Expert studies have shown that students who read novels since early age show remarkably good performances at intelligence, comprehension and cognition. Of course, reading is a mental exercise involving the organic coordination between eyes and brain. Hence it is no surprise to see the aforementioned students perform better than their peers. Moreover, fiction is an effective way to infuse creativity and imagination among the young ones.
Let’s see what Einstein had to say:
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Mind is the temple of body; also, it is the most complex part of human body, especially if one endeavors to comprehend the intricate mechanisms it houses. Therefore, it is no surprise when we come to the point that intelligence is too vast a phenomenon to be confined in any container i.e. a classification or hierarchy. Yet, experts have tried to make some classification system to make its study a bit easier.
Some people think in numbers, some in sounds, others in pictures and the list goes on.
Environment casts an unavoidable influence on the minds of people. It is like some psychosomatic diffusion. Why does the ambiance of a library and the aromas of books make the users feel the urge to read? The answer is simple. Our minds have been programmed to absorb what is available to us in our outskirts.
The child prodigies we see today all owe to his principle, more or less, in one way or the other. The fact which needs limelight is that they get access to tools that sharpen their intellect and boost their creativity at an early age. An important role, in this context, is played by the parents of the children. Support and encouragement are what all artists (yeah, this is the word I like to use for creative people) hanker after. Those who get it shine; and those who don’t, keep looking for it or label themselves “not-so-gifted”.
We think that our intelligence exercises authority on our environment. Let me tell you that its opposite is also equally true. Nothing new here, believe me! It is analogous to a number of other phenomena. To quote one, happiness makes you smile whereas faking a smile can also give you ecstasy, at least neurologically. Even when you read these boring musings, some part of you gets painted by the hues of these reflections through this black-and-white medium which your eyes scan.
Intelligence rubs off. So does stupidity. This is no surprising idea. By reminding you of this, I don’t mean to frighten you, so that you may end up locking yourself up in complete isolation, away from all the vastness of human stupidity. Nature has got everything balanced from quarks to galaxies. This world needs idiots and fools much more than intellectuals and geniuses. Don’t trust me?
Even Einstein could not help saying:
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
Intelligence and fertility are reciprocal to each other, research says. The intelligent cannot surpass their certain little population, a quota allocated to them by nature. In case you did not notice, this very fact supports the notion that intelligence is inheritable! Lo and behold! Contradictions and ambiguities are everywhere!
Now, let me put a full stop after this “paradox”.
By: Muhammad Hamza Waseem