Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor;

Membership in Mensa and Intertel implicates me in some kind of elite organization, and I fundamentally believe in equality of each man or woman before divine providence. What does it mean to be a member of an elite? The aristocrats of yore had a name for their responsibility: "Noblesse Oblige".

We are required to teach those less intellectually gifted to climb the ladder until they too can soar. Tutoring is an excellent activity for members of Mensa or Intertel. If we simply feel "we are better" then we are truly stupid.

Real intelligence consists of more than the score one gets on a standardized I.Q. Test. We should help our own kind. We should also help others. The responsibility that each one of us has to bear is proportional to his gifts. The best quality for a Mensan or member of Intertel is compassion, since a mind without a heart is dessicated, not nourished, like a brain not nourished by blood.

To what extent can we become more of a service organization, instead of merely serving for our own ego-gratification (as was the case with me for most of my membership in Mensa)?

I know I am making a bit of an assumption: that intelligence can be taught. Rather, I agree with Maria Montessori, that we are virtually all born "geniuses" and are molded into various forms of stupidity by the society around us. Our (surviving) intelligence, like consciousness itself, must be considered a gift. We must, in some inchoate way, be thankful for it. If we are thankful and are altruistic (which is what a few major religions teach), then we will reach out even to the least intelligent as a brother or sister, and assist him in elevating his/her skills.

Noblesse Oblige.

Richard Kovac

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