If you’ve heard Dr. Kathy speak or have read her How Am I Smart? book, you know that every human being is smart in at least eight different ways. You know that a few of the eight smarts stand out as your top strengths and that the same is true of every other person, with the combination of “top smarts” varying from individual to individual. You know each smart can be awakened…or paralyzed. You remember that you – or your child – can, when necessary, learn to pull up and utilize a smart that isn’t a top strength. And you understand that we must each be smart with our smarts.
But did you know that many of those same truths apply to the 12 genius qualities? Yes, each and every person possesses some measure of each genius trait. As adults, we probably each favor just a few in our daily lives, perhaps because some of the others have been squelched in some way. But it’s possible to increase the expression of the all the traits in our lives – and in the lives of our children – and to use them for good purposes each and every day.
Kathy and I will write about the genius qualities for the next few months, addressing one trait in each of the next 12 issues of this newsletter. We’ll define and discuss each quality in turn and hope to inspire you to make room for them all within yourself and in the lives of the children you influence. I’m very excited about that prospect because, just as I know far too many folks who’ve bought the lie that they’re not “smart,” so, too, I see almost every day how we deny or minimize the genius qualities in ourselves and in our kids. That’s a tragic moral crime, in my opinion.
So if I can do anything over the next few months to help you identify the traits within yourself and in your kids and to encourage you to stop shutting them down and start growing them, I will have been richly rewarded. Please don’t doubt your God-given genius or whether your kids have it; give us some time to make our case.
And in the meantime, remember Thomas Edison, who was basically expelled from elementary school when the teacher told his mother he was “retarded” and unteachable. I don’t know what happened in that school, but we all know Thomas was obviously a bona fide genius. So, obviously, his parents did something to awaken and inspire his genius qualities. And if that was possible for Thomas – someone who’d nearly had his genius snuffed out – it’s possible for you and your kids, too.
Photo Credit: Ben McLeod