I used to think the word smart was reserved for the type of people who became doctors and lawyers. These were book smart overachievers who could retain anything. They were incredibly articulate and always used the correct grammar.
It was a very narrow minded view of what constituted intelligence. It meant that either a person was smart, or they were not. There was no gray area on this.
Having kids changed my view immensely. I didn’t look at my kids with such a black or white stance on intelligence. I looked at their strengths, and saw areas where they excelled. It opened my mind to the idea that everyone is smart in their own way.
My oldest son loves cars. He always has. He can name any car he sees by both make and model. This also applies to emergency vehicles – including police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. Any time I have ever challenged this, he has proved me wrong.
He reminds me of some of the people I work with. Vehicle parts specialists. The things they know and can convey about a vehicle and it respective parts blows my mind some days. It’s something I think I could learn, but it would take a very long time and would be very painful for me.
My younger boy loves music. At his young age, he could rival most people at a game of Name that Tune covering most musical eras and genres. He also has an incredible memory for lyrics. He often surprises me with the songs he can sing word for word.
Technology is also a passion of his. He loves computers and everything iPhone, and can work his way around an app with incredible confidence and ease. I am very competent with technology, but every day I see his skills growing and passing my own.
I have just focused on my boys passions, which are the things they excel at. When I look beyond my children, I can see how everyone as their own passions. These are their strengths, and the things they are smartest about.
- My Mom sews. She can sew almost anything you ask her to. She can take a pattern and follow the directions with incredible patience. There are things she just instinctively knows how to make now. This is not something that is easy for everyone – trust me, I have tried.
- A friend of mine is incredibly gifted socially. It seems like a funny thing to say, but I know I could never command a room the way he does. I have watched him walk into a room of strangers, and strike up a conversation with the first person he sees. While I am looking for the nearest corner to hide in, he is making everyone he comes across feel like they matter. It is truly magnetic.
- My Omi could cook. She could take anything in the fridge and make a delicious flavorful meal out of it. I suspect growing up in Germany during WWII has a lot to do with. Her family was large, and feeding them on rations would not be an easy task.
These are just some of the smart people I know. Everyone is different, and it seems that a person’s passion usually the thing they are the smartest at.
Everyone has something unique to add to the world we live in, and everyone is smart in their own way.
I was counting down the days until my 40th birthday on September 15, 2017 with 40 Things. Unfortunately, I am a procrastinator and did not finish it on time. Still, I continue to push myself to finish.