On a recent visit to a bookstore, I noticed a wealth of books for dummies and idiots, such as Computers for Dummies and Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dating. I marveled at how readily we identify ourselves as dummies and idiots. We apparently think we are stupid, and these books will help.
Why do we do this? Because we have been trained to regard ourselves as dumb.
When I was little, I used to rescue all kinds of animals in the wild, nursing them back to health. One day, my mother told me, “You’re just wasting your time with these dumb animals.” That idea made an impression on me, and I was afraid of letting my caring nature show for many years. Mother supposedly knew everything, and if she said that showing empathy is a waste of time, then she was probably right.
Perhaps you had similar experiences that defined you as small, ugly, incapable, or unlovable. And perhaps you went on to live as if that identity was true.
Yet you are more than that! The genius you were born with is alive in you and can be accessed at any moment. Genius is your true reality, whereas limiting programming is an adopted persona. The person you were before learning self-defeating behavior, is still very much available to you.
There is a story about an elementary school teacher who checked her class roster on the first day of school. Next to each child’s name was the number of a very high IQ: “126, 135, 140,” Miss Everett read, eyebrows raised. “Thank goodness I finally have a bright class!”
Miss Everett went on to stimulate the loftiest abilities in these kids. She gave them challenging projects, took them on field trips, and offered them leeway to explore their creativity. At the end of the semester all the students earned A’s and B’s.
The day after report cards came out, the principal called her and asked, “Miss Everett, what did you do with these kids?”
“What do you mean?” she asked innocently.
“You took some of the lowest-functioning students in the school and turned them into geniuses!”
“I don’t understand what you’re talking about,” the teacher replied. “These kids were bright when I got them. Here, just look at their IQ’s in my roster.”
The principal scanned her roster and replied, “Miss Everett, these are their locker numbers!”
We all tend to become who we think we are, so let us focus on the highest qualities in ourselves and others.