Genius, pt. XI

In Edinburgh, Eric Weiner met a local journalist for his book, “The Geography of Genius.” One of the things they talked about was the myth that big things happen in big places, and how they disagree because they think that “genius clings to the small.”

The author thinks that “small places are more intimate than larger ones. Small places, out of necessity, are more likely to direct their eyes outward and are therefore more likely to accumulate the varied stimuli that, research shows, make us more creative. Small places are more likely to ask questions, and questions are the building blocks of genius. Small places try harder.”

First of all, I think that’s a great idea because I’m not tall. Haha. But at first I thought it wasn’t right because not all small places had a golden age and produced a lot of geniuses like Athens and Edinburgh. Then I thought about it and realized that it is true.

In a room filled with tall people and just one small person, for example, the small person would have to try very, very hard to be seen. He/She would either look for something to stand on or talk very loudly or do something different to be noticed.

A room filled with small people and just one tall person, on the other hand, would be different. The tall person might try his/her best not to stand out or not make much effort to stand put because he/she already does.

But I guess it still depends on the person. The small person might be shy to make an effort to stand out or satisfied at not being noticed, and the tall person might still make effort. At the end of the day, it is what we decide to do about a situation that is important instead of who we simply are.