“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~Albert Einstein

12 Feb

What affects a person’s ability to do something?  The attitude one has can drastically alter whether or not you can be successful at what you are doing.  This brings on a big question for me: What is success?  What would life be like if we didn’t have any successes?

Today I watched an incredible movie, Gattaca, and when I watch movies I tend to write down my favourite quotes from the movie.  This was by far my favourite.

You are the authority on what is not possible, aren’t you Irene? They’ve got you looking for any flaw, that after a while that’s all you see. For what it’s worth, I’m here to tell you that it is possible. It is possible.

When we focus on the things that people do wrong we are doing a very harmful thing.  We aren’t giving them the support they deserve to do everything to their full potential.  Something I try to keep in mind often is that a person’s “full potential” isn’t going to be the same as everyone else’s in the room.

Every child needs to see success in their life.  If there is no success, that leaves a lot of room for failure.  Seeing this success, in any way possible, is what will be beneficial for a student, and will want them to learn.  I am not saying it needs to be extrinsic either, but I don’t think it needs to be entirely intrinsic either.  When someone does something good they should be told they did so.  It would be nice to think that everyone does things for the intrinsic motivation of a job well done, an although that is something I would love to strive towards, there are still going to be students that need some kind of extrinsic motivation.  If someone never see’s success in their learning, what will motivate them to continue?

The movie was genetically altering genes and what could happen in response to that.  It gives a huge insight, considering how far technology has come and the possibilities are endless.  It makes me think that regardless of how good something seems to be, there is still going to be negative consequences.  We could alter ourselves to be the most perfect humans in the world, and everyone would be the same.  This would mean that we are all trying to be the best there is.  The thing is though, in a competition, someone has to win, and thus someone else has to lose.  You could be perfect and still “fail”.

“[…] we now have discrimination down to a science.” – Gattaca

Discrimination comes in all forms.  When we judge someone by their ability before they even can give you the chance to show you, we are limiting the endless possibilities of things they could do.  The way school is set up it set up, if you don’t fit the perfect mold of a student, you are being set up for failure.  People slip through the cracks and just because they aren’t a “perfect student” does not mean they can’t do anything.  We need to focus on what someone can do, rather than what they can’t.

3 Responses to ““Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~Albert Einstein”

  1. nauruz October 9, 2011 at 5:11 am #

    my favorite citation from that movie:
    – How are you doing this? How have you done any of this?
    – You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it. I never saved anything for the swim back.

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