”Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid “

I don’t know if Einstein really said these words or not, but it’s a good quote anyway, even if I’m a bit unsure of the actual meaning.

I suppose one could argue that we shouldn’t treat everyone equally because we’re all different and therefore we shouldn’t judge according to a specific fixed ideal. Instead we should judge based on who we are and what we do with what we have. So it would be better to judge the fish by its ability to swim and its other “fishy” stuff.

Sounds good enough I guess…

However, this implies a rather narrow and fixed belief of what a particular person can and cannot do and what potential they have.

I suppose one could also argue that we should simply not judge a person based on their inabilities or weaknesses, as this can lead to the person believing themselves to be innately weak and incapable and unable to learn, grow and develop.

An alternative twist on the quote could be –

”Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, you should first check whether it’s an ability it passionately wants to pursue. If not, it is pointless and foolish to judge it, but if it is, you should instead give it all your sincere support.”



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