Strut Your Stuff! You are a Genius and won’t show It!

Our society – and even though I have spent time in other countries – I refer to the American culture- has specific definition of intelligence and genius. Genius is accepted in the math and sciences. Music and art is accepted with significant excelling. This is on a large scale and with prominence. However, what happens to those that think differently, process differently and at a critical time – their K-12 years. The school districts require no child left behind – teach to the average or lower students. Yes, there are gifted programs. Many programs the purpose is to stimulate the young people. Some is to “control”. My experience is that the staff, resources, time is not available to find the different kinds of genius and develop them. Many of the youth think differently. There are times when the youth get labeled as behavior problems, disruptor’s of the classroom, inability to follow directions, unable to fit into the classroom, unwilling to do the assignments and then are ignored or separated from the class. The youth can decide to “fit in” and not make waves to the point of not doing their best. However, there are crusaders for those that are recognized as gifted and things do happen for them. Those that miss being recognized blend in or blend out – sometimes all the way out – out of school.

The most perilous experiences are with the peers as this is a time of intense peer pressure – trying to be different, an individual and yet keeping up the trends. The desire to have friends and special friends is a key part of a teenager’s life. And yes there are those that proceed with their academic excellence with home and other support and are doing fine. Or if they are doing well in sports or the social atmosphere of the school they can do very fine. This doing fine may be overall or on the outside only. Each youth learns their own coping skills for survival within the classroom and with peers. Withdrawing the display of their genius can be a common response. Rising to an occasion, getting appointed and then not performing – disappearing.

Proceeding on with college: There are a greater variety of people to interact with. Finding like minds is a greater possibility. The habit patterns developed so far will still be with the young person. So the story of excelling may continue. The story of getting by and not doing their best may stay in place. Fitting in with peers will come and go. Doing the acceptable, expected thing may continue to take top priority. Another form of rebellion may be the calling card. Oh, yes and then on with the world of work – the stories can repeat themselves.

Experience is a great teacher and a moderator also. A style is developed for your expression. You strut your stuff – confidently or tentatively. Or with confidence and then without the results you see that can be beneficial – the ideas are rejected – a couple of paths – fight, be persistent with achievement results or choose after a degree of persistence and fight to withdraw – the energy required is not satisfactory for the return. Oh yeah! You can strut your stuff and stand out – then the experience of rejection, ridicule, denial of value, or it will work for you but no one else surfaces. Does it not become easier to withdraw and do your best in your independent setting and not demonstrate or teach the ideas, knowledge, or know how.

Yet, you are asked questions by others, you are recognized that you have a tool, an idea, a method, a presentation (visual – music – movement) that has beauty, utility, makes a difference. Habits spring up and you withdraw not wanting to risk, not wanting to stand out, not wanting to make waves. And yet you know as well as the feed back you are getting is that your genius is needed, it will make a different. Share your genius with your immediate world – with the world in general. A little drop of water on the ponds surface has major ripple effects. Strut your stuff – show your genius.

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