Recognizing Genius In Others

Image by Randy Ortiz

Image by Randy Ortiz

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, right?

Probably, but what if its a really good decoy?

Things are not always what they appear. If a child is misbehaving and doing outrageous things, does it mean he has terrible or negligent parents?

Well, if you have an autistic person in your life, you know the answer. In fact, if you have a child at all, you know that every person who comes into the world is different. We all have our unique personality and skill sets whether we are born with them or we learn them. I find it ironic that, as human beings, we generally thrive when the things that make us unique are celebrated and when we are encouraged and inspired, yet so often we see that people’s differences in behavior or appearance are used against them. Perhaps it is because people are afraid that revealing other people’s genius will outshine their own or reveal there flaws.

I have heard people claim that bad people don’t change. Those are the same people that coincidentally are least likely to hand out a word of encouragement. My mindset is that good people do bad things all the time, usually when they are not encouraged to do good things. I have done things I am not particularly proud of and I like to think I learn from my mistakes…not necessarily when people point out that I make them. People change all the time, we just can’t change them, we can only influence them. Praise and encouragement are 10 times more of a motivator that criticism is.

The one thing we can do is change ourselves. By the setting an example of understanding and making an effort to seek genius, we set a trend of tolerence. By showing people that when they recognize other people’s genius they do not discount their own genius, they find the joy of selflessness. By telling people that we are inspired by them, they will in turn be inspired by us.

By seeking genius, we might not always be able to get rid of what we don’t like about people, but we might find enough positive to coexist.

If you have a hard time believing this, try it. Start with the people that are closest to you. An autistic child may or may not be able to grasp the idea right away. Start with your spouse, your “typical” kid, a friend, a co-worker, your parents (whoa…that is tough for some of us). Talk to them about something you know they are good at and tell them that they inspire you and watch what happens. It’s powerful.

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