Is your I.Q. off the scale? Did you start programming at the age of
8? Did you take college courses your sophomore year of high school?
Have people always applied labels to you like gifted and
Congratulations. You are very lucky. You were born with special
abilities, and certain things in life will always come easy to you.
Things like math tests, for example.
But guess what? Certain things in life are going to be just as hard
for you as they are for everybody else. Things like inter-personal
relationships, for example. Things like finding a reason for living.
I'm writing this today because a terrible thing happened this
weekend (Memorial Day, 1997). A beautiful young girl -- only 7 years
old! -- was murdered in the bathroom of a casino a few miles outside
of Las Vegas. Within hours, the police had a suspect: an honor roll
student at a Long Beach high school. A popular young man from an
affluent neighborhood, who stalked and killed a child just two weeks
before his high school graduation.
His friends described him as a "genius". Yet because of his actions,
two promising young lives were destroyed. How smart was that?
I know what it is like to be a "bright" child. I scored in the 99th
percentile on my SAT tests. Math and science classes came easy for me.
But guess what? Life didn't come easy for me. It never does.
My brother Steve was another so-called genius. A child prodigy, a
computer wizard, a child who understood complex mathematical concepts
grown-ups couldn't fathom.
Two years ago my brother Steve killed himself by jumping off a bridge.
How smart was that?
To me, you are only smart if you can find a reason to live.
You must search for, and eventually find, a level of contentment.
You must seek happiness, and find it.
You are only smart if you can find a reason not to self destruct.
So if you are a genius, don't just rest on your laurels. Look beyond
the praise for accomplishing that which comes easy for you, and put
some effort into accomplishing that which comes hard for
everybody. Make yourself a better person, and give yourself a good
Everybody's path to fulfillment is different, so I can't tell you how
to do it, but here is a suggestion. You can start by doing something
nice for somebody else.
Find a person who desperately needs some kindness, and then give him
some. Whether it is groceries for a shut-in, or just a conversation
with a person nobody else ever talks to, find a way to make
somebody's life a little better. You will find your life gets a
little bit better too.
It's a start. Be good to yourself. Try hard. Good luck.