Indeed intelligence remains a phenomenon desired by nearly all of us. As a kid back in my high school days, I remember amending my definition for this: Contrary to my elementary school experience, intelligence to me became the ability to combine and use knowledge rather than to simply gather as much as possible.
During these days, I also vaguely recall stumbling across the intriguing riddle you put forth. I will give it a try these days to see if I can enter that exclusive club. Here, I hope that it goes better than my last encounter with Mr. Albert Einstein, which I’ll quickly share with you here.
A few years back, an internship I left me with many hours and a computer screen and without considerable tasks. So I decided – admittedly in a somewhat megalomanian mood – to attack big, fundamental questions of the universe before lunchbreak. Sounds doable right?!
Longing for a higher level of intelligence, I wanted to find knowledge bricks to fill in the gaps and strengthen my wall of brightness. The famous theory of relativity seemed to be just the way to start.
I guess you see where this is going already. Relatively speaking, I didn’t find a single brick. Hell, I didn’t even know if I was at a quarry at all. To this day, even the simplest explanations of Einstein’s revelation are simple recommendations that I do not know jack. I cannot relate to that equation which is so basic to nothing less than our bloody universe and all that surrounds it. No bricks for Rich.
But then again, who does really get that ground-breaking discovery? Am I in the minority here? How many of you can put in a few sentences exactly what that guy’s contribution beyond that stunning mustache was?
If you’re anything like me, you find yourself in the spot you mentioned. The two options here are clear: Fight or flight. For myself, I walked away from that intellectual pothole, happy to shrug my shoulders should it ever come up in conversation.
But here’s the catch: Like all of us, I do not always act upon that strategy when it comes to basic self-education. If anything, the name of the theory is the fruit of my pathetic attempt. On the example of intelligence, it taught me that all is relative.
I forgot all I read about trains going somewhere, clocks on the wall and the outer space. But that one word – ‘relativity’ – somehow seems to be in everything and central to this life.
A good friend of mine told me the other day that you can not compare your problems with other people’s problems. Thinking about it, I am stunned how massively this simple revelation can be applied to my life. Thus, my favourite team plays for titles every year. No fan of a lower league team will understand my pain in losing a final. Neither will I when it comes to being relegated. The stories are too different, I can not relate to it from my point of view.
To be honest, I do not know what that answers. In fact, this feels like the internship all over again. Maybe it provides the one answer that was always golden to every question in every business or management course I took so far: That depends.
This also means that regarding intelligence, I will most likely resign from digging for a deeper, theoretical, physical knowledge. Then again, that riddle sounds charming. Dammit.
I guess, it’s time for lunch.