13 April 2015

Perils of Becoming a Genius

It's easy to call anyone who does an extraordinary act a Genius. I do it all the time and in the process blur the line that separates real genius from average-thinking people like myself. I like listening to intelligent people talk about solutions or mere concepts that propel the progress in our civilization. To me, visionaries are considered genius regardless of their IQ level. However there are organizations, particularly the Mensa, which standardize the tool used in singling out genius from the rest.  I think it's just fair that the top 2% of the population belong in an elite club where they can enjoy privileges worthy of their brilliance. They deserve it. I applaud all kinds of genius because their minds are the modern weapon, so to speak.

 photo IMG_6020_zpsofpatklc.jpg
Top: H&M | Skirt, belt: from Tutuban Mall in Divisoria | Shoes: CMG | Bag: Fossil | Necklace: Pull & Bear | Bangle: from Platinum Mall in Thailand

These photos were taken last 8 March, serving as my Dad's second birthday celebration with my cousins here. Everyone was feeling lazy then, not even wanting to go out so we opted for a nearby restaurant where we can come in our pambahay and have no one frown upon our get-up (I can't let go of my heels though). Bonus points for the karaoke inside the room. I love singing! We ate in Seafood Paluto in Daang-Hari, a 15-20-minute drive from Alabang. The first celebration is HERE.

 photo IMG_0171_zpslohomgov.jpg

It's just fitting that when I talk of genius, I actually think of the author of my favorite book - Oscar Wilde. When someone is capable of shutting up his detractor not by force but by words, and make the latter realize the extent of his stupidity and subsequently become the cause of his eternal embarrassment, then he is my Mr. Miyagi (I'm a huge fan of the Ralph Macchio - Pat Morita's Karate Kid).  Anyway. When we read novels that speak to us beyond the themes present in them, we wish that the author lived in our times just so we can hit him with a Hi-Hello-you're-a-genius-can-we-be-friends note. Certainly an email will suffice (at least for Jodi Picoult who patiently responds to my fanmails). I haven't read from a more illustrious author who can romanticize insults and make the recipient look forward to it. By anyone's standards, Wilde is a literary genius.

 photo IMG_0172_zpsffrqstma.jpg
 photo IMG_6023_zpsnkjvd9jg.jpg

Another genius I look up to is Stephen Hawking. I first knew of him when I saw him in an episode of The Simpsons where he told Lisa that "sometimes even the most intelligent are fallible". Of course then it wasn't his wisdom that made me remember him but his wheelchair attached to the computer that aided his speech. For a 12 year old girl, his physical appearance was greatly alarming and fascinating at the same time. It was only years later (I think I was 19 then), when I picked up a copy of his A Brief of History of Time that I was astounded by him for the right reasons. To be fair, I did not understand almost anything in the book despite his attempt to dumb down the explanations. I got a few things though such as, he does not believe that the biblical God is responsible for the universe. What can I do, my mind is more inclined to understand the controversial over the scientific that composed the bulk of the book. Anyway. Since then, I tried to learn as much about him as possible. I saw Benedict Cumberbatch' Hawking (which was terrific!) and later on, I watched Eddie Redmayne's The Theory of Everything (which was even more terrific). I haven't read the novel from which it was based but the movie was good enough to complement what I already know of him. I'm a fan! Wow. Of all the things he stands for, I guess the best piece of wisdom he shares is his warning to everyone about developing a machine that is more advanced than the human counterpart. He's among the most prominent beneficiaries of Artificial Intelligence yet he's also among the most prominent who warns against its danger.

 photo IMG_0169_zpsauy64qlr.jpg
 photo IMG_0179_zpsxdvc3gpt.jpg

But there are dangers associated to big minds. Perhaps Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon Cooper, although both are only fictional characters, embody the concept that when someone has too much of a thing, he also has something that is lacking. Most often, a high IQ begets a low EQ. The idea of "putting one's self into another's shoe" that we learn when we are young is not something that is present in a genius. And then there's hubris. It comes with the territory, I guess. When someone knows that he is superior, it is expected that he thinks he's incapable of being wrong. There are other perils in being a genius but I'm most particular about the Genius' difficulty in forging relationships the way others his age can. What prompted me to talk about this topic is knowing that someone I care for deeply is due to take tests that will determine if she's a genius or someone with a different condition. Ever since she was born, she has been different. She's only 5 years old yet her command of Math, reading, and Science are advanced. She's so good in academics yet she has problems in relating to anyone. A few days ago, her doctors advised her parents to have her checked because her brain movements are much advanced compared to her peers. People like her need more attention than say, people like me whose difference from others is only rooted on shallow views. And people like her will demand special attention for the rest of their lives.

 photo IMG_6018_zps9acxpiyw.jpg photo IMG_6019_zpsxlrstez0.jpg

The final verdict? For someone who wishes to leave an imprint on the world when it's my time to leave, it's easy to wish for a brain that's more than capable. Those with genius-level capabilities tend to make impact on the world more than the rest. But when I get right down to it, they suffer from a difficulty that the rest do not even know of. It's difficult to say which group has the better in life. But personally, I'm somehow contented with the limited thinking that I possess because in a world where relating to someone else is very important for survival, an equal level of IQ and EQ is most effective. Or maybe it's just the Marketing graduate in me whose training is all about connecting people.

02 April 2015

Start Them Young

Our baby girl Rayne graduated from pre-school last 21 March 2015 as the Valedictorian of her class. It's a feat that merited gifts, celebrations with her family from both her parents' sides, and immeasurable pride in everyone who loves her, myself included.

 photo DSC_0049_zpsfeabd9c6.jpg
Polo top used as dress: Zara Man | Cardigan, socks: H&M | Leather gloves: Temple Street Night Market in HK | Shoes: Adidas

Considering that she's the youngest in their class, she looks like everyone's older sister right? This must be how I look like when I'm with my friends, only I'm everyone's younger sister. Oh well. I wasn't able to take a decent photo of what I wore to her graduation but since this blog is about me-thoughts, me-outfits, me-reactions, I had to post accompanying photos that show what I wore from head to toe. You know, just to satisfy the pretend fashion aficionado in me. The rest of the photos were taken on her graduation day.

 photo DSC_0032_zpsvdvpsucr.jpg
 photo DSC_0010_zpsqazntmcs.jpg
Rayne with her classmates

"There was something that he lacked: discretion, aloofness, a sort of saving stupidity."
Over the last months, I finished reading two novels which immediately rose to my 5 Favorite Novels Of All Time. (I really have nothing to share so I'll babble about books today) George Orwell's 1984 introduced the concept of doublethink. To simply put, it's how intellectuals have to be selectively stupid. See, when one lives in a superstate like Oceania with an omnipresent leader such as Big Brother who dictates the expected conduct of everyone, free-thinking is not only frowned upon but more so, greatly prohibited. So even if one knows that Big Brother is just a concept and the history is simply a constantly rewritten novel by members of Minitrue, he has to convince himself that whatever the Inner Party says is true is the truth. 1984 is a brilliant novel that ticks off everything that I look for in a novel. I love words and how they bring to life abstract ideas. This novel didn't only display a new way of putting words beside each other to paint a different term but it also created an entirely different dictionary known to the Party as Newspeak.

 photo IMG_5673_zps9o9g1ql9.jpg

The greatest act of rebellion begins with an idea. But as others said, chaos resulted from well-meaning ideas. Stephen Hawking benefits from the advancements of technology but he's never short on warning us about the precautions of having a machine that's capable of being smarter than our race. He warns us to be wary of all the devices that Science is developing under the guise of innovation. Once technology can read what's inside our mind, freedom will cease to exist. Perhaps the government, or a powerful country's government for that matter, can then monitor every one's thoughts under the pursuit of the common good. Who's to say then that 1984's Thought Police are far from reality?

 photo DSC_0083_zpstmbwbzg7.jpg
 photo DSC_0107_zps4gthnfn0.jpg

"And that's what's frightening the life out of me. To have no idea."
The stories of Sherlock Holmes were so good that I found other detective stories falling short in comparison. Until I've read Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. I've long been impressed when a book references another literary material so from the very first page of this novel, I was already devoted to finishing it. At the very heart of this, I'd like to believe that this is about a test of one's morality. Was Judge Wargrave's crime justified when all his victims were all criminals, who continued to freely roam around just because the law cannot reach to them, as well? As with all other morality tests, it can only be answered by those who are subjected to the case. Every one else either becomes a passive spectator or self-righteous commenters.

 photo DSC_0117_zpsobk7twdp.jpg

Philip Lombard is my favorite character not only among the 10 "Indian boys" in the story but among all the books I've read. He readily admitted to his crime instead of denying the accusation like the rest did. Secondly, he's very intuitive and logical. His high sense of survival would have brought him out of Soldier Island alive but alas, the panic in the survivors bested him out. It's a shame how the only character who somehow saw the tell-tale signs, which were brilliant by the way (the poster in each room, the figurines on the table, and the glimpse in each of the characters' thoughts), had to die eventually. Of course his moral fibres were also tested. But he's decisive so he knew that if he would choose to stay with the natives, they will all die. To cut the story short, he knowingly left the natives to die and chose to save himself. Was it wrong to choose one instead of none? Again, it's not for us to high-handedly decide on.

 photo IMG_5674_zpsb15c376e.jpg

I can go on in articulating a few more of the themes in these novels but I'll save them up for future posts when I'll find myself at a loss for insightful thoughts once more (which is pretty often). To close, allow me to say a few words about my cousin's celebration. Since there were around 15 of us that day, her parents decided to have it in Yakimix in Alabang Town Center. I think it's just right that kids are pressured to excel right from the beginning to gauge whether he can do it or if he excels in another area. I grew up with a very lax attitude towards education and by anyone's standards, I've among the poorest study habits. A classmate never even had to dare me to not submit homeworks because chances are, I didn't even have plans of doing anything at all. But as expected, my grades heavily suffered from my attitude - well at least, in my parents' standards and mine. So I say to everyone else, a certain amount of push is necessary. If one wants success, then start young.

The Child They Love The Most

 I have always deemed myself lucky with the kind of parents I was born into. Perhaps I'm as opinionated as I am because they have always encouraged me and my brothers to speak our minds at all times provided that we do it in the appropriate place and while ensuring that respect for both ourselves and the person we're talking to isn't sacrificed. I've generally made my choices in life with my parents' approval in consideration. Of course this doesn't mean that I haven't messed up. I did, plenty of times to be more precise. I keep on making the wrong decisions as I grow up. And it keeps on getting harder to accept the disappointments I subject myself to due to error in judgments but with my parents' accepting nature, at least there are two people whom I don't have to worry about being disappointed in me.

 photo IMG_0626_zpstireapfg.jpg
 photo IMG_0619_zpsjx6spw1w.jpg

Dress used as top: Zara | Earrings, ring, bangles: Aldo | Shoes: People Are People | Skirt: Zara

This is what I wore to my Dad's birthday lunch celebration in The Cafe in Hyatt Hotel located in City of Dreams last 7 March. We celebrated with the rest of our extended family the following day, which I'm going to post here in a few days or weeks, depending on whether I'll have something to talk about or not to accompany the photos. Anyway. I can't believe 2 months have passed by!! I haven't written anything in February (the last two posts do not count since technically, they happened in January) and March. So I'll publish two entries within the day to compensate for them.

 photo IMG_0168_zpsuqynnumw.jpg

Let me get on my high horses and do something that I both enjoy and detest: preach. Provided that the person came from a fully functional family, he (just to be clear, I'm all for gender equality but the use of "he" in context here is gender-neutral) is completely indebted to his parents. As such, he has the responsibility to live up to his parents' expectations of him. No, really. Call me boring, call me out for sucking up to my parents but I think, when one's only resources, pardon the term for being so frank and tactless, are his parents then it's counterintuitive to disobey the parents' sound decisions. It's called "basic gratitude", I believe. I don't even know where to begin in trying to understand when one deliberately defies his parents' reminders yet has the gall to ask for allowance the following day. Where did he get such impertinence? Financial support aside, the parents are there to provide the necessary voice of reason. They normally advise what would later on become the right advice. They know a lot of things and they are only after ensuring that their children grow up to be better than them.

 photo Photo on 3-7-15 at 10.30 AM 3_zpsm1mxbait.jpg photo Photo on 3-7-15 at 10.28 AM 5_zpsr8k4nixo.jpg
 photo Photo on 3-7-15 at 10.37 AM 6_zpsbjodbyag.jpg photo Photo on 3-7-15 at 10.29 AM 4_zpswe7vcs0q.jpg

We search for help elsewhere or a listener in someone else but we fail to see that our parents would want us to turn to them. Definitely we can't talk about specific topics with them - topics that we will hide from them for as long as we live - but I've always believed in communication so even the mundane aspects of everyday life, I try to expound on when I'm with them. Besides, it's in those seemingly trivial stuff that a person's level of thinking is revealed. Not that I've any proof about mine but both my Dad and Mom have superior understanding of almost everything as proven by their immaculate school records. So I really relish every time I get to talk about new and insightful discoveries with them.

 photo IMG_0629_zpsoofxmlnd.jpg

I guess the best thing that parents can offer is genuine emotional support. For which I am lucky as I have a Mom who serves as my thoughts' sound board and a Dad whose comments have constantly redirected my goals when they're shaky. There's something very uplifting in knowing that when everything goes wrong and my sudden self-doubts rise up to the surface, they're there to listen. My parents know me so well that even when I got in conflict against school teachers once who tried to paint me in a much negative light, my parents laughed it off. My parents have always been on my side. And to me, their approval is the only thing that matters. I may constantly mess up a lot but as long as I can make my parents see the reason behind my actions, I'm good.

 photo IMG_0620_zps2epvaxjj.jpg photo IMG_0621_zps9sr8dj8l.jpg

On these notes, I hope either of my parents see this because after the fur vest and fur jacket, I'm going to ask for a new cape. This has been a lengthy prelude to asking for something. Oh well. Happy birthday, Daddy! 

 photo IMG_0614_zps6skbtdht.jpg photo IMG_0611_zps07rxra8w.jpg

Title's from Phineas and Ferb's Candace Flynn 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...