Why Einstein Called ‘Everybody a Genius’

Genius Turner

There's only one you = your genius-potential


Pic: joshuamentor

I. Once-In-A-Lifetime

If by chance you were to stroll into the corner store, plunk down a crispy one-dollar bill, and then mumble, “Give me the numbers 333,” your odds of winning the top prize in Pick 3 lottery would be roughly 1 in 1,000.

Not bad!

The instant you set foot out of the store, the odds of your being struck by lightning — according to the National Geographic — would be roughly 1 in 700,000.


Yet, for all the world’s wonders, given that over 100,000,000 sperm cells were released at the point of your conception, the chances that the 1 particular sperm cell — within which was contained half of all your genetic information — would’ve fertilized that particular egg, within which was contained the other half of your genetic information, exceeds 1 in 100,000,000.

The reason being, the chances of the two people who would eventually become your parents having met lies outside the scope of the above calculation. The same holds for their parents. And their parents. And so on. …

I once read an article by a geneticist that noted it’s impossible for two people in the world to be exactly alike, not even identical twins.

In addition to this once-in-a-lifetime happening of what geneticists call your unique “genotype” (complete set of genes), there’s also your unique phenotype (environment’s influence on those genes).

Given that each person’s environment is uniquely coupled with the uniqueness of the genes, it must be the case:

In all of history — there never was, is or will never be another you. NEVER!

Take a second, if you will, and really chew on these vitamins for thought. … And once metabolized, it’ll become apparent that you — like every other actor on the world’s stage — can do one thing in such a special way that no other person has done it, is doing it, or will ever do it.

Here lies insight into what compelled Einstein to say, “Everybody is a genius.”


II. True Meaning of “Genius”

“The beginning of wisdom,” said Socrates, “is the definition of terms.”

Armed with the Socratic method, it becomes apparent the word genius — like most things — over time has been distorted.

The ancient Romans had it right all along. Genius in Latin simply means — “attendant spirit present from one’s birth, innate ability or inclination.”

(Note: the prefix pre- makes its appearance in present, i.e., pre + sent to one’s birth.)

According to the ancient Romans, then, each person comes into the world stamped with a genius! In the Vedic tradition, this ancient wisdom is known as one’s dharma (धर्म).

Perhaps the above is what Thomas Jefferson meant by “all men [and women] are created equal.”

In short, a firm grasp of the true meaning of “genius” boils down to the following insight:

From unique DNA sequences to the uniqueness of the environment in which each person is raised, science proves it’s impossible for the universe to ever produce another you. Hence the expression “genius-potential” merely signifies the potential for expressing such once-in-a-lifetime individuality.

III. Follow Your Bliss or Endure a Dream Deferred


Pic: BK/Flickr

“Everyone is born a genius,” said Buckminster Fuller, “but the process of living de-geniuses them.”

We’re all born with the same genius-potential. Ah, but here’s where the problem seems to lie:

Though “all the world’s a stage,” the platform appears overpopulated with lead singers playing the drums and drummers who sing. Why? To put food on the table.

Indeed, if you were to judge Ringo by his ability to, say, hum “Let It Be” or Paul by his ability to flick his wrists with drumsticks, as Einstein noted — shall not both have ended up living his “whole life believing that [he] is stupid”?

Perhaps Maslow — one of history’s greatest psychologists — put it best, “a musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write — if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.”

My uncle Mike was/is one of the most talented artists I’ve ever seen!

According to relatives, his natural gift (genius-potential) was apparent from the start. They nicknamed him the James Evans Jr. (J.J.) of the projects. Ahhh, but for some reason:

Uncle Mike traded in his paint brush to brush up on his skills as a car salesman.


The world told him to “get a real job.” The world convinced him to quit following his bliss.

In the early 90s, my grandma was a regular at Tina Knowles’s hair salon (Headliners). As Grandma would sit under the hairdryer, Beyoncé and the rest of the group practiced singing and dancing routines. Grandma’s voice was so beautiful that Tina would routinely ask her to sing along with the girls.

Sure, Grandma enjoyed being a nurse for forty years, yet on occasion, she hints at her buried genius-potential, which cries out from the grave:

“I wish you would’ve followed your bliss and given us a real shot at singing!”

For the above reasons, Langston Hughes wondered:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore —
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over —
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

IV. In Closing


Pic: Christopher Michel/Flickr

Success, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. For this reason, one man’s dream bank balance is another man’s nightmare. Only you alone know what qualifies as your genius-potential, what the ancients called that “innate ability or inclination.”

Even if, say, the dreamer fails to achieve the dream, does not the mere attempt alone make her more sheroic than she whose success is based on achieving a dream set by society?

To put it simply: find out what you’re good at and you’ll then know what you’re good for, which can only lead to good results!

After all, what more is life than a promise to fulfill?

In short, the word “success,” when stripped of all such pageantry, simply means — the step-by-step realization of a dream come true!

If folks have been telling you since childhood “should’ve been a lawyer,” and you so happen to, well, enjoy debating . . . ahem — head to a law school.

If you naturally crack people up like, say, Kevin Hart, as he once put it: “I figured, heck, might as well give open mic night a shot. What I got to lose?”

If your voice is naturally so beautiful that, while singing in the shower, even hummingbirds suspend humming just to overhear your angelic voice . . . ahem — hint, hint.

In short, Einstein’s insight can be reduced to the following equation:

Knowledge is Power + money is Power + time is Money = knowing this (you have genius-potential) should motivate you to spend time on turning your hobby into a paying job.


Here lies insight into why Einstein called ‘Everybody a genius.’

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My writing is popular in academia (biology, psychology, etc.) and on websites such as Quora (millions of views) and Medium. Also, I'm signed to the same literary agency as Eckhart Tolle. In short, my sole mission in life is to serve my brothers and sisters from all walks of life. http://finalspeciescode.com/

New York City, NY

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