Intelligence vs. Empathy

Intelligence, it is the power of one’s brain, divided into many sub categories and used in numerous ways. Empathy, it is the power of one’s heart, expressing one’s true emotions with themselves, those around them, and their own world. Both of these factors are an enormous part of this girl’s life. They are her two elements.

They are her yin and yang. Her dual personality shares the same origin. All her life, she’s been considered as an overachiever. At school, she is in all AP classes. She has the highest grade in each class. Every time the teacher updates grades, she rushes over to the grade sheet.

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She easily finds that her ID number has remained on top, with the highest grade point average. She has the superior intelligence. Ever since grade school, this girl has strived to keep her #1 rank. She knew that she possessed exceptional abilities. As she grew, she found herself working at a much faster pace than her peers.

She didn’t stop nor slow down. She had to keep going, keep working. From there, this girl’s academic world changed forever. The years passed quickly. With every grade the girl surpassed, her intelligence flourished. She was brimming with confidence.

She found herself giving more and more effort to her studies. Sometimes, she found herself up way past the clock, perfecting her schoolwork. Her academics are what keep her up at night. She never felt satisfied until she knew her work was the best it could be and she did whatever was necessary to make it that way. She is a perfectionist, a procrastinator, but above all, an over achiever.

However, all those years, the girl felt something missing from her life. Finally, one day, she realized what that element was- empathy. She never took time to appreciate the smaller things in life. She always thought ahead, about her future. She always got ahead of herself.

She didn’t realize what she had in the present. Her family, her friends, they should have been her prime focus. The girl’s father always told her that one of the most important things in life is the kind of person you are, not the kind of student. He told her to apply her intelligence in school as well as in life. She didn’t know how to do that.

She soon realized that it was with empathy. Keeping her brain open for all those years resulted in a closure of her heart. She eventually came to see that she was living half the life she was supposed to. She tried getting in touch with her “inner self.” The next following weeks, she experienced something very different. She began attending more parties, social gatherings, and family reunions.

Throughout most of the events, she felt rather bored, apathetic to the moment at hand. She had zero interest in these petty forms of interaction. All the mingling, all the photos, it was useless. She thought it was a total waste of time and patience, her time and patience. That’s when she realized she didn’t fully know how to empathize with people outside her inner sanctum. A long time ago, the girl made a vow to herself.

She promised that all through her life, she would work her hardest to make sure she had the best grades. She has a dream. Her dream is to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard is one of the eight, prestigious universities that make up the legendary Ivy League.

The girl knew that to get into Harvard, one of the top universities in the country, she had to constantly work throughout her adolescent years. They only took the best of the best, so a 4.0 GPA wasn’t enough. Extracurricular activities, she needed them as well, lots of them. To her, it was a fair game.

She knew that there would be no guarantees but she would try her best. And when the time came, the future will decide if she made the cut. This dream is still alive for her. For more than thirteen years, this girl has worked extremely hard to keep her grades at the top. She yearns for nothing more than to make her childhood dream a reality. But along the way, she realized that she had lost her touch of empathy.

After realizing that she could not live her life properly without both intelligence and empathy, the girl made a new vow. She promised herself that from now on, she would continue working as hard as ever in her studies but at the same time, she would express her true feelings to others. Now, she could mentally move on from her predicament. She would no longer be the animated book worm she was. She would start living her life as a real person, with real feelings. She holds both of her vows strongly.

They are what get her through the day. These two vows live in me as well. The dream shines brightly for me. It is my dream. I am that girl.