Saturday, February 7, 2009
I have this idea...
(Oh, shh, no eye rolling, it always starts this way for me!)
I want to write about people who live with Brilliant people.
I currently work with some Brilliant people, and I've met a few others over the years. I have some friends who have over-the-top brilliant "TAG" kids (Talented and Gifted, a club I did not get into when we were all tested in junior high, and I'm not bitter, not at all...) and from my observations, it's tricky to be Brilliant, and it's tricky to live with Brilliant people.
I know many Smart people, and most of them are able to have happy families and interesting jobs they enjoy. I think it may be easier to be Smart than to be Brilliant.
Disclaimer: I do not consider myself Brilliant. And, dear friends and relatives, I know you love me, but I'm not looking for compliments here. I think I am clever and smart about certain things, and woefully pathetic at other things, and usually quite confident about my self-esteem (I'm the youngest of four, so of course I assume I'm wonderful and fun to be around!) So please, humor me, and my idea here for a moment, I don't need comments about how you think I'm Brilliant.
When I say Brilliant, I mean those select few top, top brains that are able to think of things that are way outside of the box, like ideas that start before the box is even made. Ideas that are hidden in the trees before they're chopped down to make cardboard. People like Richard Feynman, Albert Einstein, Doris Lessing, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Maya Angelou, you know the type.
Brilliant people often have to navigate life differently than the rest of us. Many of the Brilliant artists and poets and musicians and super geeks have a hard time in this world. Sometimes they sink into depression, self-destruction or madness.
Many stories have been written about the Brilliant people, because these people are so out of the ordinary, they fascinate us. But I want to hear the stories about the people who lived with and raised the Brilliant people. I want to know how they navigate life with and for their Brilliant person. I think these people must be quite gifted in their own way.
I'm interested in what it takes to help a Brilliant person be a person in this world. Not all of the Brilliant people move into Brilliant careers. Many of them must navigate a world that doesn't understand them, and never has.
In his new book "The Outliers" Malcolm Gladwell talks about Christopher Langan, the man with the highest IQ in the world. Einstein's IQ was 150. Langan's is 195. Clearly, he's Brilliant. But his life has not been easy. He has an interesting story, of course, but I'm curious about his wife's story.
So, if you know some Brilliant people and people who live with them, I'd be thrilled to talk to them. As always, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe I'll share some stories here, or who knows, maybe I'll start a Brilliant blog somewhere else. What's another blog between friends?
"Let your light so shine upon a weary world."