Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Genius vs. Talent


Talent is a wonderful thing especially when it’s shared. Out of the sharing comes improvements in the human condition, a sense of empowerment with the knowledge that we do have the resources to address life’s challenges, and an expansion of the overall talent pool since talent is transferable. Talent is about getting the job done. It is a reflection of capacity and capability. You do because you can, not because it is your calling. In this sense talent is bottom up, not top down. People grow talents, never too proud to tap the brains of others. But genius comes at the world in a different way with passion, commitment and belief that a single thought, your own, holds true for other men, if not today then with tomorrow’s arrival. It is a preparing of the world that would generally rather be left alone. Thinkers and their thoughts are so destabilizing that they routinely instigate organized opposition, segregating and then pairing visionary and repressive powers in an uncomfortable duet. Those in the status quo say, in retrospect, given the data we gave him, anyone would know what he predicted. But there is no sufficient explanation for the fact that he, the genius did, and they did not, given the same world, the same reality from which to derive the truth. And furthermore, the genius saw the big picture in a larger way and the smaller picture in a more simple form all at once. There is after all a difference between creating the concept and having the talent to execute it. Many have the latter while few possess the former.


Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing.
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

Genius does what it must, and talent does what it can.
Edward Bulwer- Lytton

I hate intellectuals. They are from the top down. I am from the bottom up.
Frank Lloyd Wright

I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.
Woodrow Wilson

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men – that is genius.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
Jonathan Swift

Too often we forget that genius…depends on the data within its reach, that Archimedes could not have devised Edison’s inventions.
Ernest Dimnet

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher

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