Millennium Post

Stable genius

Stable genius
Who or what is a genius? Is every Tom, Dick and Harry we come across a "genius"? A person may look or talk smart, but does that make him a genius? Or, is every genius born one? The questions may go on but the answer is a simple "NO"! Roughly defined, a genius is an exceptionally intelligent person with enviable creative power or natural ability. The Huxley brothers, after extensive research, had arrived at the conclusion that most of the human brain remains dormant but in the case of a genius, the use of the brain would be a few notches higher than the average. That the human mind uses, at the most, a mere 10 per cent of the brain's capacity, may or may not be a myth. Not all Nobel Laureates, for instance, can be labelled 'geniuses'. But certain individuals, historically, have been recognised as true geniuses and for all the right reasons. To cite a few instances, one can go back to the Renaissance and come up with at least two names—Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The first was versatility personified. Apart from being a great painter, he did a lot for which medical science and aviation remain indebted to him. The second was an artist who took the breath away with what he did at the Sistine Chapel and David. Both fascinate millions to this day. In literature, there is Shakespeare and then there is Tagore, both bottomless wells of creativity. Since the death of the former, over four centuries back, nearly 400 research papers have been churned out every year. Moving to the world of science, consider personalities like Sir Isaac Newton, Madame Curie and Albert Einstein. In the world of music, there is Ludwig Van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. All of them continue to inspire and intrigue researchers to this day. Both Samuel Taylor Coleridge and, much later, an Indian National Professor of great eminence, tried hard to explore "Ways and means of creative imagination" and find what made the works of these extraordinary geniuses possible. Both had made significant progress but, before they could complete their research, they died. That was, indeed, sad or else we could have had a good idea of how these brilliant minds worked to leave the rest of the world in awe. Unfortunately, in recent times, you have had several using the term "genius" rather loosely. If, for instance, a cricket batsman flicks a fast bowler to the fence, the commentator exults, "That was the flick of a genius!" Over the last two days, following all the sound and fury over Michael Wolfe's 'Fire and Fury', a certain Donald J Trump kept repeating he was "super smart" and a "stable genius". Whatever is a "stable genius"? Does a real genius, "stable" or otherwise, shout from the rooftops that he is one? In the good old days, if a "responsible" person or a leader would talk this irresponsibly, it would be inferred he had "lost his marbles". Has Trump, the "stable genius" finally trumped himself or lost his marbles completely? Perhaps, he could read a bit about the real geniuses and take a lesson in humility. But, in his case, that may be asking for the moon.
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