“Split.” A movie thriller based on a fictional character with twenty-four different personalities. Disassociative Personality Disorder. The antagonist of the story is man named Kevin Wendell Crumb. His mother had a malevolent discipline style when Kevin was a very young boy, a toddler. She demanded perfection and, a boy of 3 of course would be messy and unorganized. She would beat him for this short coming. To defend against her ridicule, intimidation, and tyranny he created alter personalities.
In therapy with a psychiatrist Kevin is able to work through his painful past. It is his psychiatrist who encourages him as it is all psychiatrists role to act as “parent” guiding those who need deliverance from a wrong. “She tells him he is amazing. He is an astounding personality. He is brilliant.“ These are things he needs to hear to counter-balance the negative reverberation set in place from his traumatic past. As he tries to come to terms with the fact that his father abandoned him to live with his psychotic mother, his 24th personality has formed. This personality lives in the train yard where his father departed from his life. Although, during this time, he is able to acquire a job and maintain a stable life, he remains slightly unstable. When a traumatic event occurs during the course of his employment in which two young women, both on a dare, go up to him and take his hand and forcibly places it under their shirt on their bare breast, Kevin is unable to process this action. This becomes traumatic for Kevin to defend against. He devises a plan to kidnap the two girls, who in his opinion live “protected” by the walls of wealth and good parenting. They don’t know or have ever had to deal with the “darker” side of humanity, the evil side that he has had to endure and resides in his painful past. This is appalling to him and he wants, he needs, to correct this grievous error. The error, why some children are blessed and some are made to suffer. His belief, “Only the torn (the broken) are worthy to life on this planet.” Those who live affluent, gifted, blessed, and protected lives must die. The delusion behind his misguided perception is his failure to recognize that we all have had to endure misfortune at that hands of an unskilled leader from time to time. All families mare and mark their offspring in some way, as does simple living. We all carry the psychic wounds, on our hearts and minds, that are a product of someone else’s proclivities. Not to undercut his terrible childhood ordeal, it was unjust, unfair, and evil, but it is unfair to think that he is the only one who has suffered. He is not alone. This negative narcissistic entitlement, to correct a delusional wrong, is an example of a person’s misguided and delusional belief system in their rightful authority and omnipotent power to infringe upon another person’s boundaries of privacy. To violate another person’s life is not a human right, nor does it seek productive and beneficial aims to solve a problem. It’s roots lie in War. His is a psychic war against a female enemy. Entitlement is not necessarily a bad thing though. I’ll explain more about it in a second.
Unexpectly, during the abduction of the two girls, a third one is also present. So, he too is forced to abduct her except she is unlike the other two girls. She has not had a life of ease and comfort and protection. She was raised by her single father, no mother, and after her father’s death when she is 5 years old, she is made to live with her uncle whom, it appears, may have been sexually molesting or assaulting her, it‘s not altogether clear. She has visible scaring on the skin of her upper shoulders and stomach. Were these scars self-inflicted, or were they made by someone else? She is the glue that can tether Kevin to a world that seems unjust and unbalanced by showing him that she can communicate, follow direction, and even share intimate secrets with him and as a result she is able to effectively forge a trust with him. Her communication style with Kevin through identification and trust, combined with her leadership and intellect, helps her survive in the end. She helps maintain stability during unstable situations and it becomes clear that Kevin, her abducter, seems to like her. Although, this does not absolve her from him taking actions to kill her.
The other two are rebellious, socially unskilled at dealing with a disordered personality. They demand their freedom, as too does Joy, the actress who plays the main protagonist, except they do it as children would lacking leadership skills and the strength and resolve that is required to maintain stability during times of crisis.
The 24th personality type is Kevin’s ultimate defense against the ridicule and intimidation endured by his mother, the Beast. The Beast is the personification of an animal warrior. Much like the dominant male patriarchs who take control, and defend against the wicked unjust actions of an enemy during times of war, he has become the other identities protector. The Beast is able to transform his physical features with supernatural strength and agility. His psychiatrist’s theory is that the mind is so powerful that it can make us become who we believe we are even in those individuals suffering from Disassociative Identity Disorder. It is this personality that is his ultimately defense against the unjust, the imbalanced, the imperfect world he lives in.
The psychiatrist in this movie advances the theory that alter personalities found in DID patients can transform body chemistry. That is, these individual identities become what they believe themselves to be. One personality needs insulin shots, while another is legally blind. Two personalities can take the “light” and take active notes, one with the right hand, and the other with the left hand, in different hands writings and on different topics. One personality may be a Russian weightlifter and can lift three times his/her own weight while the other alter personalities are not.
This month’s May 2017 issue of National Geographic’s features an article that asks the question “What is Genius?” Historically speaking the world has recognized males of European descent as geniuses. Those who lie outside the periphery of this boarder were either unacknowledged, rejected, misappropriated and had their ideas stolen by others. This same stereotype endures today. This means if you are a woman, gay, bisexual, transgender, black, or something other than white European male, you stand a very strong chance of being discriminated against when it comes to notions of intelligence. “A study recently published by Science found that as young as age six, girls are less likely than boys to say that members of their gender are “really, really smart.” To compound and worsen the situation, girls act on that belief and will avoid activities said to be for children who are “really, really smart.”
“Can our planet afford to have any great thinkers become discouraged or intimidated and give-up? It doesn’t’ take a genius to know the answer: absolutely not!”
What’s the good news? In our fast paced socially wired communities found on the internet we will see glimpses and flashes of these genius wherever they appear. The more we look, the more we will see that social factors like gender, race, and class neither ensure genius nor preclude it. Genius may reside wherever there are individuals with “intelligence, creativity, perseverance, and simple good fortune….capable of changing the world.”
“Turns out you don’t have to be a real genius, to be a genius. You don’t have to have an exceptional IQ, you just have to possess enough intelligence to help your success.”
Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” outlined several factors linked to the “good fortune” for these super talented individuals, which turns out only really had average IQ scores. “Turns out you don’t have to be a real genius, to be a genius. You don’t have to have an exceptional IQ, you just have to possess enough intelligence to help your success. This intelligence is termed ‘practical intelligence.’”
1. Opportunity – all had access, by some luck of opportunity, to those things needed to practice or work with in order to get really, really good. Example, Bill Gates had unlimited access to computer labs. Support by their parents and teachers, they were aided in their access to opportunity which fostered their success. Another example is if your parents see you are interested in music. They buy you a musical instrument and pay for classes to help foster that talent along. This is not the sole factor though. There are others too!
2. The 10,000 Hour Rule – all practice, practice, practice! Practiced until they made perfect. The 10,000 hour rule of perfection. These individuals were motivated and believed in their talent enough to put in the hours of practice everyday! They wanted it. They wanted it so strongly that they were able to focus or hyper focus and remain committed.
3. Timing (in a technological changing age) – Gladwell looked at individuals who were successful and found they were born at the right place at the right time which helped to facilitate their rise to the top. Historically speaking, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were born at the right time in the right place and were lucky enough to have the raw talent, practical intelligence, determination, and support to allow for their success to materialize.
4. Turns Out IQ Only Gets You So Far – Most of the outliers Gladwell researched turned out to be of average IQ. This information was based on the Terman Study. The key point to this study found that you don’t have to have an exceptional amount of IQ, you only have to have enough to help you become successful. The second component to success, having “practical intelligence” knowing what to say to someone at the right time. This is the type of social success you find in exceptional leadership styles. “Gladwell sites a study analyzing the parental approaches of low-income vs. middle-class families and asserts that practical intelligence is, to a large degree, the product of middle-class style of nurturing which gives children more of a sense of “entitlement.” This is not entitlement in the negative sense of the word, but rather the trait which allows people to successfully navigate complex social situations, systems, and bureaucracies.” Entitlement as in a person’s right to be here on this planet and their right to obtain certain privledges which have a positive and beneficial effect like access to a proper education.
5. The Type of Work You Do (and your parents did) Matters: Truism “These three things – autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward are the qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.” Work that fulfills these three criteria is meaningful. Crucially, certain households have historically specialized in such work. Gladwell sites Jews working in the garment trade by way of example. This has a big impact on children. Why?
“The most important consequence of the miracle of the garment industry….was what happened to the children growing up in those homes where meaningful work was practiced…..if you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.”
So far we see that success arises out of the steady accumulation of advantages: when and where you are born, what your parents did for a living, and what the circumstances of your up brining were all make a significant difference in how well you do in the world. “The question for the second part of Outliers is whether the traditions and attitudes we inherit from our forebears can play the same role……” For example, can bitter angry resentments, jealousies and envies contribute to our ultimate demise? Can they be just as strong as one’s own belief in their abilities and their belief in their right to be here and to their right to the entitlements that foster their success so that they may give to the world their gifts as meaningful work?
1. Culture Doesn’t Go Away With Time and/or Changing Environments. Those who come from cultures where people are say, quicker to anger when suffering a perceived slight or “disrespect,” such as the Southern States in the US, will retain such traits. This remains true even if they grow up in a different location and are far removed from their original roots.
2. Cultural Power Distance Impacts Decision-Making Even at Critical Moments. Gladwell presents the findings from studies into the causes of plane crashes and show that Hofstede’s concept of power distance is critical, as accidents often occurred where co-pilots from cultures with a high power distance (example, unwilling to challenge superiors) were far more likely not to challenge poor decisions.
3. Linguistic and Agricultural Legacy Has A Huge Impact. The logical structure of numbers in language like Japanese and Mandarin, as well as the ability to say numbers faster, is presented as one of the reasons why Asians are better at mathematics. Furthermore, countries with a legacy of rice-growing, which requires a far greater level of input, concentration and hard work shown to continue to apply that work ethic with regards to studying.
“No one can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year and fail to make his family rich” -Chinese Proverb
Likewise, countries whose students are willing to concentrate and sit still long enough to focus on answering every single question in an endless questionnaire are the same countries whose students do the best job of solving math problems.
“Mathematician, Terence Tao, rejects lofty notions of his own genius. Instead, what really matters, he writes, is “hard work, directed by intuition, literature, and a bit of luck.”
4. If You Make Kids Work Hard, They Do Better. Gladwell presents information showing that the reason why poor kids do worse in school is largely to do with how little time they spend studying outside of school, rather than the commonly argued ‘because poor schools suck’ rhetoric. Whereas wealthier kids are encouraged to do things like read, go to museums etc. during holidays, poorer kids tend to be encouraged to do these things less frequently. As a result, every year the gap widens.
“It is not the brightest who succeed….nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities – and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
Outliers are those geniuses and talented individuals who lay outside the periphery of average. While IQ, that is average IQ, may be a part of the outliers make-up, it does not constitute the full spectrum of required factors in the formation of success.