DEC. 10 – AKRIT JASWAL

Side-note: Wikipedia says he was born in 2000 and his appearance on Oprah in March of this year says he’s 17-years-old. Hmmmmm. I’d go with Oprah. She has better research staff.

Anyway, this young Indian fellow is allegedly the smartest person his age in India with an IQ of 146. (Though mine is allegedly 165. Somehow I am doubting my score now)

Akrit performed a successful surgery at the age of 7. It was not a difficult procedure. But still, he knew what to do.

He was not exactly untrained. He’d read Shakespeare by the age of 5, after all. Oh yes, and local doctors, noticing his extreme interest in science and anatomy, allowed him to watch surgeries at hospital. He’d also read everything he could find on the subjects, perhaps inspired by this game!

The surgery he performed was on the daughter of a very poor family, unable to pay for regular healthcare. Much like you and I will be when we join our uninsured countrymen and women.

Akrit is now at university studying applied chemistry. He is passionate about finding a cure for cancer.

All this sounds so wonderful! What a happy person he must be, having all these smarts and his country behind him 100%. But I have to stop and think – he is from India. India has a completely different culture than ours. Different than China. Different than Gallifrey. He, apparently, is told repeatedly that he must do something great with his life. And he doesn’t always feel good about this decision being made without his input.

Not all handicaps are physical “take-aways.” Our society is not equipped nor often even willing to embrace and support genius. We just aren’t. Not in any culture. Geniuses don’t fit. Schools teach to the middle; companies promote from the bottom; families celebrate the sports stars. And just because you rock the straight ‘A’s does not mean you’re smart. And because you went to college, doesn’t mean you’re going to succeed. Just ask Abe Lincoln, Ansel Adams, Andrew Carnegie, Barry Diller, Ben Franklin, Charles Culpeper (owner/CEO of Coca Cola), Christopher Columbus (the sailor, not the director), Coco Chanel, David Geffen, Debbi Fields (the chocolate chip cookie maven), Frank Lloyd Wright, Freddy Laker, George Eastman, Henry Ford, Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA), Isaac Singer (sewing machines), James Cameron – the king of the world, Jay Van Andel (Amway), John D. Rockefeller Sr., Kirk Kerkorian, Mary Kay Ash, Michael Dell, Milton Hershey, Pete Cashmore (Masable.com), Rachel Ray, Richard Branson, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Simon Cowell, Steve Madden, Steve Wozniak, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Wolfgang Puck, to name just a very few from this list.

I hope, for Akrit, that he gets enough happy “me” time to tool around the planet and discover what he really loves best and is allowed to pursue it as he is inspired. Because the combination of that gift of genius, along with the supported free creativity that is the best fuel to feed it, will not only help all of us, but let him enjoy his planetary tenure.

IB Crabby

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Tell Mrs. Crabby all!