I believe we all, every one of us, are born as what are termed “geniuses” for lack of a better term. How well our innate genius then manifests, as we grow through childhood and life into old age, depends on how effectively we manage to consciously develop the genius intellect that is already in there, an intrinsic divine gift of our genes.
Things that sadly inhibit development of the natural genius that lies submerged and unrealized in so many people include, for example: malnutrition, damaged genes and toxic exposures during the fetal period; early childhood in a family environment full of prejudices while devoid of educational development or nearly so; later child- and teen-hood in a social milieu of conformity and distorted values that fail to place the common social good above exaggerated reverence for false individualism that takes vain pride in its ignorance because no other basis for bonafide pride has been developed; and the maturing and reinforcement of these misdirections through the unfortunately circumscribed adult lifetime that follows. Without these all-too-common inhibitions, we’d all be geniuses.
I don’t trust any manmade intelligence test including MENSA tests, and have long observed that most of the many geniuses I’ve known were ordinary good people who love learning and educated themselves without reference to thinking of themselves as genius or indeed even being aware that they were. Perhaps my favorite expression of well developed intellect — dynamic, interested in everything, caring for others — is in splendid conversations around the dinner table. We all have our individual, unique stories about the source and development of our intellect, but identifying its wellspring sources seems to fade in the dynamics of good times enjoyed with bright spirits who absolutely glow with goodwill.