The Genius of Elsie Porter
August 15, 2013
Now before you think I’ve gone off the egotistical deep end, let me explain. I was listening to a TED performance of Derek Paravicini a young man who is blind with severe autism. He is also one of the most remarkable piano players I have EVER heard. What he was capable of at the age of 4, most people don’t accomplish in a lifetime. When we hear stories like that, we immediately detach, don’t we. We marvel at the genius, bask in it, enjoy it, even occasionally envy it (case in point: Salieri). But seldom, if ever, do we claim it for ourselves.
I know what you’re thinking (or at least I think I do). You’re saying “I could NEVER play the piano like that!” And it’s quite possible you are correct in that assumption. I mean after all, Derek is a genius! No argument there. But here’s the thing, at the end of the day, Derek is just a person with a brain. True, his brain was uniquely activated through a series of physiological and external events. But having watched the movie Phenomenon where John Travolta gets struck by lightning and suddenly has some incredible new talents, I wonder… I mean I REALLY wonder, what other things might activate our talents, my talents? Prayer? Meditation? Exercise? Learning? Gaming? What secret triggers might stumble upon to allow our genius to surface in a way that takes EVERYTHING to a new level?
After all, according to at least one definition, genius is an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative or original work. Well, hells bells, how many of us does THAT describe? Better yet, could it not describe us all if we just let it?
Before you form your argument against what I’m saying, stop. No really, just stop for a minute. Now, I want you to daydream, imagine, let your mind wander about things you love; things your passionate about. Now, I want you to do that for about 10 minutes every day – every – single – day. Do it until you’re really good at letting your imagination run wild. We used to be able to do that. When we were kids we did it all the time. Oddly enough, we even got in trouble for doing it. In no uncertain terms, we were told, sometimes time and time again, to stop daydreaming!
Well, now I’m telling you to START daydreaming. And do so regularly. I’m not the first person to suggest it; probably won’t be the last. But if even one person, took a few minutes a day to daydream, to imagine a life filled with doing things they love, to think about what it would feel like to live the dream, their dream, that would be one of the most exciting things I think I could….. well…. Imagine!!