When in doubt I am still inclined to refer my grand old Oxford dictionary, I love technology but I am still a Xennial. It amuses me to look up official sounding definitions which I am sure were arrived at, after much head scratching deliberation. Especially for a word made ordinary with overuse such as Brilliant. The Oxford gods claim it means
A. (of light or colour) very bright.
B. exceptionally clever or talented.
While we are on the topic, a personal childhood tit-bit. My grandfather called me ‘Baigan’, which in Hindi means eggplant, strange nickname?
Well, it was his factual mind’s only creative wordplay, you see he meant ‘Baiy Gundh’ again in Hindi, which translates to ‘without qualities’.
So to him, not only was I lacking Brilliance, the exceptional talent or intelligence kind. I was lacking all qualities good and bad.
Did it sting?
Was it true?
If you ask me what my true basic nature is, I couldn’t tell, ask my mother she couldn’t, ask my childhood friends, my husband they’ll all draw a blank. I have been honest and dishonest, generous and miserly, brave and cowardly, haven’t we all?
I am an average human being with an exceptional talent for adaptability, resilience, persistence, and understanding of the human condition. Can they be called exceptional talents, intelligence, brilliance?
Who is to say?
To every young one that I am fortunate enough to meet and interact, I present to them my understanding of someone Brilliant, Ding Ding Ding it’s ‘B’ – Someone with the intense brightness of light about them.
How do you know if you have it?
We all do.
What is it?
It is when-
Your face lights up while you hear of a new concept, figure out that formulae, understand the meaning of that poem or better still know what it means to you.
Your heart races when you score that goal, run, wicket, score, level, point.
You draw, sketch, finger paint, or make sand castles.
It can be any and all of that and more.
What do I do with it?
Recognize it, nurture it, protect it from everyone, especially the voices in your head.
That’s a load of BS!
I practice what I preach, having answered the questions above for my self, Brilliance my childhood nemesis is now my middle-aged friend.
P.S. Doesn’t it just suck that we got stuck with being called Xennials? The word doesn’t have any kind of ring to it, except the annoying scratch of awkward.