Friday, 19 June 2015

Are You Unaware of an Innate Talent?

Would it not be sad to live and die without realizing that you have an innate and extraordinary propensity for a particular endeavour? Since it would be impossible to have tried your hand at everything, you cannot possibly know that this is not indeed the case. Perhaps you could have been a very famous dentist. Perhaps I would have excelled as a circus clown.  Maybe - if we had known - we could now be famous, rich, fulfilled, happy. Is it possible?

Very few psychologists/ evolutionists would claim that we come into this world as 'a blank slate'. In my 'genetic priming theory' - do google it - I have suggested that all organisms are primed by their neuronal architecture for the adaptive behaviours of their particular species. I also explain how this has come about. It usually requires just a simple trigger or prompt from their surroundings for the behaviour to be manifested. Spiders are so primed to make webs, birds are primed for bird-song, humans are primed for language and religiosity among other things. Also since children tend to inherit a neural architecture that is conditioned by that of their parents, grandparents and more distant ancestors, we observe talents, skills and abilities that "run in families". I suggest that it is no coincidence that Nancy Sinatra could carry a tune.

There is no doubt that we are each born with certain propensities; perhaps primed to excel at certain endeavours. But here's the kicker. No trigger: no manifestation! Perhaps my expertise as a circus clown lies dormant and un-celebrated by the world simply because I never got my face painted up.

If I'm right - and I believe I am - the implications for education are obvious. As far as possible, parents and teachers should ensure that the propensities of every child are fully explored. This is made more feasible by the fact that skills and talents tend to present in groups. Many sports require hand/ eye coordination for example. I was rubbish at tennis so it was no surprise when I didn't make the England squash team.

If you are wondering whether you have a particular innate gift that has hitherto remained un-unwrapped, give it a try. I will do the same. Perhaps you will see me performing my hilarious clown routine at the next dentists' convention!

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