Monday, July 6, 2015

No, it really *is* what you do with it.

I've had a bit of a thought recently, and I haven't really had time to follow it all the way to its conclusion. However, I've been guilty of skimming the comments of Facebook posts. What do you want, I've been stuck in the house trying to heal. Anyway, I learned something new, which is completely astonishing to anyone who has EVER read any comment section anywhere: being gifted?  It doesn't mean you're actually smart.

I was happily reading away, some weird BuzzFeed or Homeschool Snark Shark thing, and there it was.  A commenter I've known for a while and generally dislike everything she says, is in quipping about how IQs are overblown anymore. After all, her IQ was 135 back when IQ scores meant something. And it hit me. Being gifted alone does not mean you're going to be smart. You can be wired for giftedness and still not live up to your ability. Just because you have the capacity, doesn't mean you're going to use it – and the nature of the human brain is such that you won't even realize you're not using that capacity.

I'm used to being smarter than a lot of folks. This is what happens when you spend hours and hours poring over everything that interests you. I've forgotten more about computers than most people will ever know. I know more about my areas of interest than really are ever considered to be a good thing (unless you're playing pub-trivia). Sure, there are a number of things about which I know nothing. But, generally, I have the good sense to not start talking about them as though I'm an authority.

I don't write this as a reason to be pretentious. I don't write this as a means to toot my own horn. I was, honestly, quite stunned that someone could be gifted, and yet I have this lasting impression of their ability that does not match what I have come to expect from people who are gifted. It's, I suppose, another way the world goes out of its way to say it isn't only what you're given, but what you do with what you're given that matters.