Back in LA last week, I walked past this school and peeked through the fence trying to see if it really was true…
…while thinking back on the conversation between Mike and I…
“Dude, you went to that little school on Louise Ave? It’s for retarded children,” Mike emphatically told me.
I retorted, “You mean mentally challenged people. And there is no way when I went to school there that it was for mentally challenged people. It obviously has changed since I went there.”
But Mike was steadfast, “Dude, maybe they thought you were a tard and things evolved for you? Are you sure?”
“Mike…only idiots use the word retard.”
“Ok Yeah Dave………….retard.”
I thought long and hard about elementary school in 5th and 6th grades and I was sure everyone there was mentally “normal.”
But I did have some strange Obsessive-Compulsive tics and had to ask…
…“Of course we didn’t think you were retarded!” my mom replied.
Let’s be honest.
Our world is bass aackwards in the way we determine intelligence.
According to Sufi poets, you can tell one’s intelligence by their appreciation of music.
In that case, Derek Paravicini (see photo) is one of the most intelligent people in the world.
On the surface, he is severely mentally challenged, he can’t tell you how old he is, nor can he tell you how long he’s been playing music.
But he can play any song he’s ever heard, in any key, in any style.
For instance, ask him to play Ain’t no Sunshine (song) in B Major (key) in Ragtime (style). No problem for Derek Paravicini.
With no rehearsal, he plays it as if he has practiced that particular song his whole life.
Watch video here and fast forward to 7:02.
According to psychologist Howard Gardner, there are nine types of intelligence:
–Naturalist intelligence (ie a botanist)
–Musical intelligence (ie the abovementioned Derek Paravicini)
–Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (ie a nerd)
–Existential Intelligence (ie a yoga teacher)
–Interpersonal Intelligence (ie a politician)
–Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (ie an athlete)
–Linguistic Intelligence (ie a great writer)
–Spatial Intelligence (ie an interior designer)
Trust me, you are brilliant in one of the abovementioned ways, and there’s a good chance you’ve been stuffed in the wrong box.
As would have been the case for Derek Paravicini if not for the fluke way he discovered his musical genius…(see above video to find out)
Point being, take a few risks, try something new that you are drawn to…you just never know.
So next time someone calls you a retard, consider it a compliment.
You just might be heeding Something different, a call, a pull, an impulse to be true to your particular genius…to live inspired, if not in spite…of those marching lockstep to the siren call of life.
NOTE: Please understand I mean no offense by the above and if you or someone you know has a mentally challenged person in your family, I’m guessing you agree with me on their particular kind of brilliance.