Saturday, April 19, 2014

Knowledge, Intelligence and Talent

What makes you deduce that a person is intelligent? Think about it for a while. What made me to come up with this question is that there is misconception among certain people: People with knowledge or people with higher degrees of education are intelligent people. I strongly disagree. What is knowledge? Its nothing but information, facts, understanding of a particular subject. Let's say you have all of that. Then you are merely knowledgeable on the subject. It doesn't make you intelligent. You're not intelligent unless you utilize your knowledge. If I see two people with different levels of education in, let's say: Computer Networks, I will not and can not say one person is more intelligent than the other. I agree that to achieve what you wish for, knowledge is needed. It depends on the individual how far he goes to gain knowledge. Patience and perseverance are severely tested. Once desired knowledge is gained, it doesn't make him/her intelligent. Intelligence comes to show when how quickly or effectively one applies the gained knowledge practically to solve real world problems. What's the use if there is sack of rice in the cellar which is never used? It ultimately decays. So, be wise in choosing what you really want to become. Its useless to cram your mind with all knowledge and go on boasting on the streets, "Hey! I know this, I know that. I learnt rocket science. I learnt biology, medicine, geology." I say, "Oh yeah? What have you done with all that? Have you built a rocket ship which carries loads of medicines to treat sick martians? Gimme a break!" Bottom line is: Knowledge does not make you intelligent. It only makes you knowledgeable.

There is one important thing which is worth adding here. In certain people, knowledge brings ego with it. The same is said in the Bhagavad Gita as "Knowledge without character". When you ponder over this phrase, it actually makes a lot of sense. Here is a simple real life example to illustrate its meaning. Lets go back to college days. Imagine your professor is super smart. Later you realize that he is equally conceited. Do you think you will ever go to him to understand the subject or to clarify your doubts? I guess not. Instead, you avoid him and disregard him. But, if he was a nice laid-back guy, you would have visited him more often and learnt more. So, who wins at the end of the day? Its the character of a man, not knowledge.

Lets talk about talent now. What is talent? Its an innate gift of certain art. In my opinion, everyone is equally talented in their respective fields of interests. If anyone points out, "Hey, the first guy is more talented than the second guy." I won't agree. Its just that the second guy has not discovered his talent yet. Discovery of talent happens in many ways. Very often, you want to let out your emotions - be it joy, sorrow or wild excitement. If you dig deeper into your soul, these emotions get liberated, or get channelized as a work of art - writing, singing, dancing, or some new invention in science and technology. Some discover their talents all by themselves, some need inspirations and the rest discover it in their own weird ways. While some people don't discover their gifts at all; its their loss. I still remember the day when I admired poetry of my co-worker and decided that I will come up with my own stuff. I had to struggle a bit to align my scrambled thoughts to come up with my first piece. So, writing became my let out. Let me give you a spiritual insight of this. God creates humans in equal order. So, how can you say God is biased or prejudiced to gift only a certain set of individuals with talents, and not everyone? He looks down upon us as equal beings and helps the needy. So, what I am saying is all are equally talented; its up to you to discover it and unravel it from within yourself.