I can’t bring myself to watch the child genius programmes on channel 4. Even the trailer is enough to put me off.
I cannot bear the mass acceptance and propaganda that genius is so worthy we have to parade our kids across the telly as tools for our own self gratification.
Makes me cringe! (Read what Charlotte Runcie says in the Telegraph)
As does yet another annoying mathematical puzzle on Facebook asking ‘How smart are you?’
Interesting how ‘smart’ is measured by maths. Couldn’t it equally be measured by our ability to create an artwork?
Well that depends on how you define smart, or genius, doesn’t it. And the way in which we’ve been told to define it. We also have to decide on what matters most.
What matters to me over smart is kind. In fact, kind is smart anyway – one is no good without the other, because it doesn’t matter how smart you are, if you’re not kind with it you don’t have access to what makes our life ultimately happy; relationships with others. You have to be smart enough to work out that ‘kind’ is as useful as ‘smart’.
We never see a challenge on Facebook asking ‘How kind are you?’ But then, how could you measure that? And therein lies the problem.
Everybody wants testable evidence. And we’ve been conned to think that testable evidence must be the truth. It isn’t, as anyone who manipulates data will testify! Data can be construed to make out what you want it to make out. Politicians use this strategy all the time. The telly programme isn’t testing genius, it’s making viewing. And making the producers a lot of money with very little outlay, such a good drama would cost! Basically, they are using our kids for cheap telly.
I don’t mean to be unkind to the youngsters taking part in the programme. But I do want to point out that kindness is as valuable an attribute as genius, more valuable I would say. But how will our children learn that if the only thing we appear to admire is testable genius? When I see those kids squirming with the pressure they’re under to be genius I wonder if somewhere along the line they’ll learn to be kind. They might not if unkindness has been the methods used to put pressure on them.
Shouldn’t we be educating towards good, kind people and allowing genius to naturally follow on through?
And shouldn’t we be applauding many, many other attributes of human nature as well as smart?
We need to be applauding our children for the people they inherently are, not whether they can answer questions or not!