Everybody is a Genius

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We judge ourselves. We judge everyone.

We create attributes to label people: A doctor. A blue-collar. A writer. A blogger. A manager.

We create emotional labels to make distinctions: Good and Bad. Beautiful and Ugly. Strong and Weak. And many more.

We use our five senses, as well as language, culture and beliefs to create these labels. We are biased though. We tend to look at anything in the world, using our limited and unfocused lens, as if we have the answer to everything.

In fact, our perceptions are limited by our knowledge and experiences. We cannot see beyond that. Even if we have a great imagination, we will still be biased.

We shape the reality as we see it, because we need to. We need certainty, we need a safe ground, we need an identity. And once our identity is shaped, we use it as the compass to guide our comparisons with whatever is different from ourselves. But… this is something we learn to do.

There is a Time story on human consciousness which illustrates that point very well. :

A baby born with cataracts — an unusual but not unheard-of condition — and left untreated for as little as six months becomes permanently and irrevocably blind. If a 60-year-old develops cataracts, an operation can restore full sight. The distinctions most of us make unconsciously and at a glance — foreground vs. background, moving vs. stationary, vertical vs. horizontal and dozens more — are concepts that the brain must learn. It literally has to wire itself, with neurons growing out to touch and communicate with one another in an ever more sophisticated network of connections. And if those connections are not repeatedly stimulated in the first few months of life, when the brain is still in its formative period, they atrophy and die.

So we have to realize, and accept, that our perceptions are a function of the reality we learnt to shape, through our experiences and the information we had access to. What we see is not the same reality as described by other people.

This should be ok, because when we cannot make distinctions anymore, and reality seems undifferentiated, our mental health may be compromised. The problem with perceptions begins when we believe that our reality is the only one. And worse is when we believe that we can judge others with accuracy.

I have a problem with people who believe that they hold the truth. And I have a problem because they harm others with this behavior.

The harm is to make them believe that they cannot, whilst they could do even more exceptional things.

They harm spouses, siblings, kids and friends, leading them to believe that for not being good enough in one thing, they should not experiment and try other things.

They harm colleagues and employees, assessing them wrongly and denying good appraisals, promotions, rewards and successful careers.

They harm anyone who is different, by applying and inciting discrimination, prejudice and exclusion. They harm lives.

Even a genius like Einstein didn’t have such arrogance.


I am posting for Silver Threading Event, Writer’s Quote Wednesday. If you love quotes, it is the place to be.

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I am also posting for the Photo101 Rehab, the event for everyone who loves photography (hobbyists, amateurs, pro-shooters, or just curious , anyone is welcome), and wants to join a community of like-minded people, who are also fun to connect with.

Want to know how to join? Check below.

Here is what ‘The Clinic Photo Rehab is:

This blog hosted ‘The Photo101 Rehab Clinic’ from 04 to 31 December 2014 and featured over 170 photos made by Photobloggers Andy Townend, Mara Eastern, Cardinal Guzman, DesleyJane, Justine, Amy, Teresa, Albert, Terri, Giving Thought, Ellen, Nalinki, Mariangeles, DwayCrafts, Lucy, Terri, Bampa’s Views, PeaceCrafting, Dreaming of Leaving and Project Easier.

As former patients informed me that the withdrawal symptoms remained active, and new patients recognized the same symptoms, The Clinic – Photo Rehab  reopened its doors.

You can do a self-examination. If you detect any of the following symptoms, as carefully described by Albert from the blog Passionately Curious, come and join us: “Withdrawal symptoms may include the incessant need to carry your camera everywhere with you, the need to wake up in the wee hours to take photos during the golden hour, and checking up on others you met during the course to see what their newfound knowledge has brought fruit to.”

How to join:

Time: The Clinic is open 24 x 7 until the healing process ends.

Camera: You can use any camera, from DSLR, mirrorless, compact, to smartphones.

Theme: Bring your creativity and photograph a theme of your liking in B&W or Color. With or without edition. We like learning techniques as well, if you want to share it with everyone.

Who can join: Anyone can join; and not only former Photo 101 bloggers. All you need is passion. Passion to speak up through images – or words, if you may want to add your thoughts to it as well – showing what you see and how much that is important to you.

Thanks for joining and enjoy it.

The Clinic – Photo Rehab 

 Here is the link to  add your photos. Knock the wall… and click on the image below:

Even if you don’t want to join in, click above and appreciate the beautiful photos of the former and current participants. Go and check their wonderful blogs as well:

ACBistro

AngelineM’s blog

Angle and Views

Andy Townend 

Artishorseshit

Artistic License of Life 

Atelier Azure

Bad Fish Out of Water

Belgian Streets

Beespeak

Deb’s World

Eclecticoddsnsods

ForestWoodFolkArt

Giving Thought Giving Sight 

Jill’s Scene

Lisa Dorenfest

Mara Eastern 

Musings from a Frequent Flying Scientist

My Story by Teresa

My First DSLR Camera

nty6x

Oosterman Treats Blog

Perelincolors

Perspectives on

Restart Urgently Needed

Snapshots Snippets and Scribbles 

Silver Threading 

The Light Inside Us.

Viaja2

62 thoughts on “Everybody is a Genius

  1. I loved reading your post and everything you’ve said is absolutely true…sadly!
    I am interested in the Photo 101 Rehab…how do I post the pictures:)?
    Thank you:)

    • Thanks for reading, Julia. It’s sad but happens as we speak.
      How wonderful that you want to be a patient at the Photo Rehab! Welcome! We treat everyone very well at the Clinic!!
      It’s simple. Create your post, shoot as you like and link to any of my photo101 posts with a ping back.
      Add your photo to inlinkz. See that image of a wall in the post? Click there and you will be directed to the right place.
      Let me know if you found this explanation convoluted. I haven’t had dinner yet. Lol

  2. Lucile, your writing is exquisite! What a stunning quote. Those perceptions lead to prejudices and all the bad things in the world. I am so glad that you shared such wise words with us today! Well done! ❤

  3. Great post here! I always interpreted this quote in relation with the education of the kids, the schooling system. Thanks for broadening my horizons 🙂
    What you wrote about the cataract re: infant and adult is amazing. I remember working with kids affected by cataract when I was in Liberia. The operation is very simple and only need 1 night in, just in case. I was first very surprised to realize that the younger ones would need much more time to adjust than the oldest (you would think they are younger/healthier so why more time?).
    Then the doc explained that it was fear that prevented them from seeing again properly. All of a sudden, they see and resent the external world as aggressive. They don’t know how to cope with all the sudden informations, all those colors, those shapes, everything. The shiest would refuse to open their eyes, eventhough their vision was now excellent.
    Perception of the world can be so different from a person to another. This experience with those kids was incredible, I learnt so much: listen to others’ needs and fears, adapt your pace if you want to make a positive change. If you understand the emotions, then you can start teaching effectively, and get the best of the people you want to reach. My two cents 😉

    • And you have brought invaluable thoughts here, worth more than two cents.
      Indeed this quote can be interpreted in many ways. It is perfectly suitable to kids’ education, and he may have been inspired by that when he wrote it.
      Your experience with these kids exposes a tough world we are not used to.It is sad and heartbreaking to imagine kids going though so much havoc and becoming traumatized.
      This experience proves once more that there is no such thing as ‘one-size-fits-all’. To understand people We need to strive to see them, through their eyes, if we are to reach their hearts.
      Thanks much for enriching the comments.

  4. “Our perceptions are limited by our knowledge and experiences”. This is so true and something I come across in people every day. You are so right with this entire post. Thank you. Genius.

    • By disagreeing, you agree with him, as he meant to say that no one individual holds the truth, so I guess he would say that you’re right in what you believe in.

      However, what he is touching upon is human’s limitation to judge other’s talents. Each one of us has a talent, a gift. That’s what he calls genius.
      Did you read my text?

      • I read the first half and was gonna say something about babies and the connection humans make from the brain to the toe, but then I didn’t bother about it and commented the quote instead.

  5. Wise words there! 🙂
    I was recently reminded that we not only do we all judge but we also judge way too fast. As much as I’d like to, I can’t exclude myself from the judging lot but I am trying to see through the person first, try to get behind their behaviour and understand it from there before I make a rash decision…

  6. I so agree with your points here, Lucille. We are all individuals with different experiences that have shaped us and that is where our perceptions and point of views come from. If we all could understand that and have more compassion for others and their perspectives, we’d have a really wonderful world of loving people. Thank you, for this post as a reminder to not judge others.

    • Thanks, Barbara. Your wise and compassionate words added beautifully to the post. Indeed it would be a better world if everyone would grasp that truth about our limitations.
      Thanks for enriching the discussion.

  7. I saw your comments on my #writer’squotewednesday and just had to checkout your quote. Like minds darlyn! But more than that, I love your write-up!
    I love this quote “Even a genius like Einstein didn’t have such arrogance.” Probably my next Quote will be this and attributed to you! Wisdom is not the preserve of any one Man or Woman.

  8. Bravo Lucile. I salute your celebration of the joy of being human. And it strikes me that your asking for a mere penny for our thoughts on your thoughts is a poor bargain indeed…

  9. Wow, I had never seen that quote! It is truly amazing what power words thoughtlessly said by someone to us, can have over our lives. I will never forget as an intern in college, how the director who evaluated me said I was not dedicated to the Recreation profession. I have proven him wrong every day of my life for the last 30 years. Good or bad, who tells an intern sh*t like that? If he perceived me to be un-dedicated, did he ever come out to the site to see how hard I was working? No perception there. An excellent post, Lucile, and again, I really love that quote. I might like to use that photo (with your permission) on a slide in one of my lectures this fall. Cheers, my lovely friend!

    • I’m happy to have introduced you to this quote and moreover, that it resonated with you.
      Thanks for sharing your experience.
      It’s a perfect example of bad judgement and abuse of power.
      Fortunately your self belief was stronger but many others don’t make it like you did and believe these flawed evaluations.
      Kudos to you!
      Of course you can use the photo. Anytime.
      Cheers to my lovely Californian friend!

  10. Hi Lucile, This quote is great, Einstein was one person that was right most of the time, if not always. And he really didn’t care for the opinion of the others. And your words are great too.

  11. Identity is important, it helps us to navigate the world and relate tow hat we see. it is a complex thing, comprised of experiences, what we are taught, opinions that we form throughout life… so many things. We all perceive the world in slightly different ways because no two people can ever have exactly the same experience and genetic sot think and believe the same. So we should respect that. It is a shame that there are people out there who can’t understand differences and want t impose their view of the world on everyone around them. Thank you for this post. Very thought-provoking.

    • Hello Julia! How wonderful! Welcome to the Photo Rehab Clinic! Thanks for admitting yourself to this fun place. We are honored to have you here.
      I’m going to visit you right way!
      Cheers!

  12. What an interesting post. I’ve been thinking about it for several days now, Lucile. The observations about the cataracts is fascinating. The wiring of our brains is critical, isn’t it. Both the early patterning (such as is required to see) and the way we develop attitudes over time. The Einstein quote says it all for me. It’s a reminder not to privilege one talent, one type of knowledge, or one way of being over another. Avoiding judgement and cultivating acceptance is what it’s all about in the end, I think. So much easier to type than to live, though.
    And thanks so much for linking me into Photo101 Rehab.

  13. […] As for my friend and photographer – Lucile, I could just see that she was exasperated by someone or a group of persons who think that the truth they know wipes all else out and no one else should say anything after they have spoken. Hence the really beautiful quote “Even Einstein …” You might want to read the whole post here. […]

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