I sit watching the waiter skip, almost dance across the floor as he moves between the tables to serve the next customer. The fluid motion, the quiet way he says “scusi” (excuse me in Italian) as he goes by. This is poetry in action. I am hypnotized.
I don’t know if he is intelligent; I don’t care. That is not important to me in the slightest. What is important is experiencing people at their best. It is a joy to witness, to be in the presence of such artistry. There is an effortlessness to their movements, an economy of energy that you can feel if you allow yourself the luxury.
When I was growing up, there was a boy down the road who didn’t make it through high school, but at age sixteen could take apart a car motor and put it back together. I don’t know where he is now, but I was always a little jealous of his abilities. His brilliance was clearly working with his hands and understanding motors, mine though innately present was not yet apparent to me at that age.
If intelligence in the classic sense may be reason, IQ, or brainpower, brilliance is an expression of love. Love comes from a different place within us. A deeper place that, depending on how it gets expressed, impacts on intelligence, knowledge, and how we live. Brilliance breaks rules, takes things to the edge. It doesn’t ask if something, is possible, but intuitively understands that it can’t be fully expressed unless rules are broken. Brilliance, as love, connects us to another level of life. Love compels us to be our best.
It is not always easy to recognize brilliance, but observe closely what is around you and you will experience it. The pastry chef, the bus driver, the customer service representative on the other end of the phone: these people can make your day as you go along attending to your own life. “Making your day” is about brilliance…love in action.
Meditations on life, leadership, and how the world works by Jonathan Creaghan
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