Where have all the geniuses gone?
- February 13, 2019
- Posted by: MAYURI
- Category: Articles
Where have all the geniuses gone?
The human intelligence is slowly but surely depleting…that’s the feeling I get…or, are there some other reasons for not seeing what we had millennia ago.
Let us think about the treasures that we have found across the world. We have diligently stored them, displayed them in museums …art, sculptures, tools, war weapons, even cooking utensils, clothes, furniture and what not! Fantastic they appear to our eyes…since they were made possible when none on the modern technology was available to support such work.
Looking at the buildings, temples, churches, public places give a jaw dropping picture of skills of ancient humans. Huge constructions with great attention to detail meet our eyes.
When we come to literature, mind boggling number of fantastic works is available; both in the western world and Indian too; great works of literature in Sanskrit and all the major languages are evidence of superlative intellectual legacy. There is no story like the Mahabharatha nor a great story of repeat value like Ramayana. The Upanishads, Vedas, Geeta are most quoted works across generations. The writings of Chanakya, Aristotle, Plato… many many others are highly relevant too even in present times!
Take music, Beethoven, Bach for the westerners, and here we have the trinity; Tyagaraja, Dikshthar and Shyama sastri the exponents of southern Indian classical music and countless great singers of yore. In Hindustani Classical music too there were great exponents.
Art in terms of paintings, sculptures we find abundant evidence in the world, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Michelangelo , closer home Raja Ravi Verma and the countless nameless sculptors who moulded fabulous images onto the great temples of India.
Why do we not find such talent now in humans?
There are of course great talents displayed in the technology and scientific world…but hardly anything in the art and literature world that rivals the ancient works. The Nobel prizes, Booker prizes do pick up the best and reward them periodically.
Our modern literature, music, art, sculpture and architecture are nowhere near as beautiful as the legacy we have received. Even if we do acknowledge that many great works are available even now, the efforts going into them are greatly assisted by modern technology, and not the works of individuals but are works of team efforts.
I wonder what could be the reasons for this dramatic change in human effort?
- Ancient humans who were in the field of producing art were completely engrossed in it…to the exclusion of any other diversion
- They received unconditional support; from families, the kings, the society …
- They went into flow of the work at hand for long duration since there were no distractions
- Admittedly their intellect, power of concentration, patience and determination were clearly superior to modern generations
- They saw the almighty in their work…they revered it, unlike us, who see work as a means to an income and material prosperity.
- They did not yearn for worldly comforts and luxuries … sustenance means were sufficient to get to work and stay in it for long hours
- They had immense intrinsic motivation…most of the above mentioned art required long hours and years of toil…but they stayed at it
- They had single minded passion for their art … to the exclusion of the rest of the world they could apply their mind and body to the task.
- They were not easily satisfied with their output…they took long time to arrive at their final product
- They did not set deadlines, targets and worry about time
- They did not look for accolades, applause or rewards…in fact many of them got none during their life time!
Are these human behaviours missing in us? We need to introspect. Just look around you…you will see mediocrity in abundance all around. We are literally ‘jacks of all trades…and masters of none.’
We are a generation of people with clearly the following traits:
- Most among us have not educated ourselves to read ancient texts, bygone era literature, which would give us an understanding and appreciation of the world gone and the fantastic people from that era
- In a hurry to get things done and wash our hands off it since we have deadlines for everything
- Not sincerely interested in the tasks at hand
- Refuse to apply our minds seriously
- Look for assistance all the time
- Search to delegate the work to someone else
- Worried more about the outcomes rather the quality of the work
- Want appreciation and not concerned about how the work has turned out
- Do not give time to imbibe knowledge that can help in elevating our thinking
- Would dislike to listen to or see someone’s good effort; it gives us jitters
- We have no patience, perseverance or dedication to anything
- We have no inclination to recognise our own talents nor the desire to work on them
- There are at least a hundred persons around to discourage one from pursuing the work
- We have a dire need to chase money
- Our dominant values all surround making and keeping money
- Many among us have no taste too…we do not know how to appreciate a good thing when we see it.
- We are too cynical, disheartened and basically not appreciative of the world we live in
- We have lost the capacity to have single minded determination about anything
- Our society does not support us in our endeavours too
- Families too are the culprits; often discouraging young talent and forcing the young to fall in line to earn money.
Sad cases most of us have become. But I must admit there are fantastic humans among us too…very very rarely we find them. But we ruin their reputations too through the use of the modern menace; the social media. So…geniuses among are disappearing slowly but surely.