I have spent the better part of my life with the tag of being a “slow learner.” As a child, I did not “get” either math or science. So, when I chose to study communication in college, I was automatically categorised as someone who opted to learn the “easier” subject.
There were other things that I was “slow” at, things that I still take time to understand. And no one, including my amazingly intelligent mother or my extremely patient husband have not teased me over this “development delay.”
There was this one day in college when a lecturer’s sharp, “Where have you left your IQ?!” stung me intensely. The pain felt by the statement stays to this day, and this line is probably a catharsis of some sort. But I am grateful to that pain, for it has driven me to try and understand IQ, in the hope that as many people as possible do not have to unnecessarily feel this pain.
What is this IQ?
IQ is the measure of the brain’s capability to process information. It is all about how well your brain can put two and two together to make four. In other words, IQ is all about the brain’s ability to make connections.
And that’s good, is it not?
Of course! It is only when the brain’s neural network makes its connections that we understand how things work. Einstein’s IQ ranged between a cool 160 and 190. No wonder he was able to put space and time together to come up with the theory of relativity.
Well…Gandhi put freedom and peace together to come up with the theory of non-violence. Just saying…
So, the problem with IQ…
…has to do with the standards that have been set to determine it. We have always looked at IQ as the ability to connect pieces of information together to form applaudable conclusions. But information is not the only thing that is contained within the brain. The neural network is only one part of the brain’s functioning. There is also the part that releases chemicals to create emotions.
And for all the information that he had processed as a lawyer, it was his emotions that helped Gandhi put his own two and two together.
The problem with us, humans, is that if we were not looking at the earth as a flat figure, we are looking at her as a spherical one. While all the time she has been both – a flat-sphere. Likewise, while we have always assumed IQ as referring to Intelligence Quotient, it has, quite unfortunately, always been deciding the Information Quotient – the brain’s ability to process information.
But what is intelligence then?
Intelligence is the ability to display what is learnt and understood. It is not about understanding that the earth is the only planet that can support life. Intelligence is all about helping this only planet sustain life. Identifying intelligence lies in the act, the doing. And all of us do different.
When I downloaded the image to go with this post, I was prompted by the site to state explicitly that I was not a robot. I was prompted by artificial intelligence to prove that I was not one of its kind. Well, I am not. And neither are you.
Every single one of us is just as different as we are the same. And this is because of how each brain is wired. Every single brain is wired differently to make us unique. It is this unique characteristic that bestows intelligence upon us.
Why then, when we are not machines chugging out the same product repeatedly, do we subject ourselves to mechanical tests?!
Remember that we were all born with emotions, and not information. Information is accumulated from outside, while emotions arise from within. And to figure out what we can do…
…we need to figure out what we want to do
As I watch a world drive itself into the madness of information, growing children into this madness, creating zombies that chug out information, struggle with identity issues; I thank my stars that I have always known my way.
Right through the adventure of childhood, the confusion of adolescence and the responsibility of adulthood, I have always known what I could do. My way was my way with the written word. But it was only after figuring out what IQ really meant, I realized that all through the “development delay,” my brain had only been showing me my way – Hey, you are not that! You are this! Albeit in a way that did not fit in with the world’s way. My bane, in fact, had always been my boon.
My story has helped me realize that, despite everything that we cannot do, our brain is always leading us towards that something that we can do. And it is this something that helps us figure out who we are.
Intelligence is a variable. It is the x in the equation of life. What your x is, is up to you to figure out.
The last line was in complete self-pride. The truth of life is that everyone gets math and science. It is just how we get it, that is different.
Here’s to understanding your intelligence in the way that it needs to be understood. By being yourself!