While I try to keep my blog lighthearted and full of fun banter, it’s sometimes difficult to be like that when I read news about brilliance coming to nought.
This morning, I read about Math prodigy Sufiah Yusof whom according to a report, has now turned to prostitution. What saddened me most was the last line in the report “…her gift has been a curse”.
When I turned to tell Nic this, he simply said that being gifted and being a genius was as bad as being on the other extreme of the intellectual scale. It is an abnormality because having a high IQ doesn’t mean one automatically becomes great in all spheres of life. Life is truly tough for those whose intellectual giftedness borders on superhuman ability.
Look at the Malaysian boy genius – Chiang Ti Ming who passed away in 2007. He had so much going for him.
Parents often wished their kids were mini Einsteins. Be careful what you wish for. Mini Einsteins may not find this world a pleasure to live in. It can be torturous for them – this world can be too slow, too mundane, too uninspiring. Most times, it consists of too much pressure from all sides.
It’s something close to my heart for 2 reasons: my original thesis probed the problems of the intellectually gifted (in this country) and that Nic is certified as having high IQ.
I didn’t start off researching the problems of the intellectually gifted if it were not for a paper I took under a very sharp professor in 2003. Everyone in my MA class freaked out when they heard HE was teaching one of our required papers (he will criticize anyone anywhere and you best run if he opens his mouth and shoots bullets at you). He started by giving us specific titles to write our term papers on. I got the one on intellectually gifted!
Looking back, that’s how I got more and more involved and finally I decided to write my thesis with this acerbic professor as my supervisor. Of course, that deepened my interest in the problems of the gifted – you’d think the gifted, the smart, the brilliant minds have life easy and super. Nope, they have more issues than you and I put together AS A RESULT of their intellectual capacities.
Hard to believe, right? It’s a cursed gift. Anything or anyone not “normal” is ostracized. They lead lonely lives because no one can see the world as they see the world.
When Nic commented in all seriousness that being a genius is a cursed thing, I believe with wholeheartedness that it is true. The world is meant for regular/normal human beings who aren’t too smart or too stupid. The smart ones find it tough to live life. And yes, the people who live with the high IQ people also find it tough and intimidating sometimes.
Brilliance feeds and lives in its own environment. Children with high IQ may not be suited for the world of mediocrity.
Too fast, too much, too soon. That’s why it’s so heartbreaking to read of genuises gone to waste. For it could have been so much more.
Is it a curse or a blessing?
Sometimes the answer’s not too clear.