Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dormant Geniuses Lie Sleeping...

"Dormant geniuses lie sleeping down the hall.They eat across from us at the breakfast table, sit next to us in mini-vans taxiing to soccer fields, even look back at us from our bathroom mirrors. What if genius is the normative intent of what God’ bestows and our own lack of faithful stewardship results in malnourished gifts? Hungarian Homeschoolers László and Klara Polgár, parents of three daughters, understood exactly that.

Current research clearly indicates that the top achievers are rarely high-IQ geniuses or former child prodigies.) It was simply the same way Mozart, Benjamin Franklin, Tiger Woods found their way: by faithful , wholehearted stewardship.By diligent, attentive nurturing of the gifts God hands out liberally to far more than a select few. It’s dangerously tempting to think that geniuses are exceptional products of blazing, divine intervention.Because then we don’t have to closely examine how we are stewarding the gifts He’s given us. Are geniuses really only better stewards then the rest of us? Recent research suggests that rather unnerving possibility.

1. Geniuses are stewards who Faithfully Practice. Anders Ericsson, a professor of psychology at Florida State University, posits that "extended deliberate practice" is the ultimate key to successful use of a gift. "Nothing shows that innate factors are a necessary prerequisite for expert-level mastery in most fields," he says. Ericsson’s interviews with 78 German pianists and violinists discovered that by age 20, the best musicians had spent an estimated 10,000 hours practicing,

2. Geniuses are stewards who Faithfully Pioneer. Even if we practice, we’re tempted to keep practicing what we already know. But geniuses steward the gift by faithfully pioneering into unknown territory. How can I gently stretch a gift?

3. Geniuses are stewards who Faithfully Pursue. Geniuses steward the gift by, practice, pioneering and finally, pursuing a mentor. A coach or teacher is necessary to flourish a gift, to grow it into pioneer territory. And pursuing a supportive environment is paramount for fostering a gift. Parents can be mentors. Parents can be the positive environment. When Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, praised children for "how" they did a task—for undergoing the process successfully --- most children wanted to take on increasingly challenging tasks. The children wanted to pioneer."

I am always curious about what "creates" intelligence and leadership because I value both and I want to give my kids advantages in these areas. As a society Americans have become largely soft and lazy (a small for instance, notice many high school/college age writers correspondence-no capitals and very little, or poor, grammar as if it's too much to type 'I' instead of "i"; but the way we communicate is about far more than KNOWING, it's about conveying ideas, beliefs and our understanding of the world and I may just do a study on the meaning of electronic communication and how it has changed and broken the rules of etiquette, meaning and compassion and how post-modernism has infiltrated our beliefs and values and collective intelligence....but I digress...anyway, my recent posts about getting smart, 10,000 hours, 2million minutes all have to do with the same thing: creating a hot house where the people that we are "growing" (i.e. stewarding, training, disciplining, parenting) have the best advantage that we can offer so that they can thrive and grow and fulfill their God given potentials and callings as they face a culture that is grossly apathetic and truly unconcerned with God or callings or potential, or if they are, have very little idea about how to fulfill them.

I have a theory that we are going to see a gaping hole of healthy leadership in the years ahead and I want my kids well-prepared to step up to the plate when the time comes. I have the sneaky suspicion that the ability to write properly, speak well, think quickly and convey coherently will be more valued than ever because of supply and demand theory. In other words it will be in higher demand as people get fed up with the outcome of postmodernism and the death of meaning (and perhaps themselves given certain health care proposals) and the lack of well-prepared apologists, theologians and thinkers who know how to counter nihilism with Truth and counter it in a way that is understandable and desirable.

While my kids, and yours, might not be geniuses from an I.Q. stand-point but just good basic solidly intelligent people, or even just average, or perhaps even challenged or struggling, they can go farther, lead better, think more clearly and influence at a broader and deeper level if we train them up to practice, pioneer and pursue. Who knows, they might truly be sleeping giants.

1 comment:

Gapper said...

So is the date on this post an accident, or a deliberate statement about how fleeting time is?-TK:)