Met vliegen heb ik niets, maar ik heb wel iets met Jeroen Komen. Dus toen ik zijn nieuwe boek Ik kan vliegen kreeg, met een mooie persoonlijke opdracht voorin geschreven, ging ik het lezen vanwege die persoonlijke band hoewel – ik geef het eerlijk toe – ik dacht dat ik er niet veel aan zou vinden. Nou, dat kan ik meteen rechtzetten: het is een spectaculair goed boek. Ik heb het van a tot z gelezen en dat was alleen maar een genoegen.
Daar heb ik een tijdje over nagedacht: wat maakt dit nou zo’n goed boek voor mij? Dat zijn verschillende elementen. Jeroen heeft er bijvoorbeeld een erg persoonlijk boek van gemaakt. Het is een boek over levenslessen in de brede zin des woords; allerlei aspecten van het leven passeren de revue. Jeroen neemt ons mee op de verkenningstocht van zijn eigen ontdekkingen, zijn twijfels en zijn doorzettingsvermogen. De schrijfstijl, mooi en zonder opsmuk, werkt daar versterkend bij. Dat op de eerste plaats maakt dat ik het ademloos gelezen heb. Andere kwaliteiten van het boek zijn de afwisseling: als vlieger komt Jeroen op allerlei plaatsen (lees: culturen, mijn grote hobby) wat superinteressant is en zeker een bron van goede anecdotes. En dan zijn er natuurlijk de prachtige foto’s die hij zelf vanuit zijn vliegtuig gemaakt heeft. Het meest intrigerend vond ik die op pagina 68-69 (koop het boek en kijk zelf) om de simpele reden dat ik me tot in mijn slaap afvroeg of het hier nu een openbaar zwembad betreft of niet.
Veel boeken hebben zeker kwaliteit maar die zit vaak in deelaspecten en is niet consistent. Ik kan vliegen is van begin tot einde ‘af’. Ik hoop dat Jeroen of de uitgever eraan gedacht heeft dit naar de Koninklijke Bibliotheek te sturen want een plaats binnen het nationale erfgoed is verdiend. Warm aanbevolen!
Spanish Mensa will meet the Spanish Princess!
August 2011 we were 15 Mensa women to visit our Princess (now Queen) Máxima, a meeting in which we could tell all about the life of high gifted people in our society and listen to the ideas of our Princess on the subject. It was a very nice visit at her home De Eikenhorst in Wassenaar:
It inspired Mensa Spain to take a similar step. In 2012, during the 65th anniversary of Mensa International, the chair of Mensa Spain requested a meeting with the Spanish Royal Family. Next 8 May, Princess Letizia will receive a group of Mensans to better understand the Mensa Spain association. Congratulations Mensa Spain!
I hope this meeting will be relevant to Mensa Spain and to Mensa in general and that it will be a very nice meeting, like we had with Princess Máxima. See also (in Spanish)
50 years Mensa the Netherlands!
This weekend (and in fact during all 2013) we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mensa the Netherlands. There is so much to be proud of! We are steadily growing, counting now exactly 4450 members. We are flourishing, almost every day a Mensa activity is organised so no Mensa member needs to be bored 🙂 What is really great is how members enjoy the intense contacts and great atmosphere in Mensa the Netherlands, as shows our new movie (in Dutch):
Please enjoy the movie and when you’re a Dutch Mensa member: happy birthday! Let’s toast on many more beautiful Mensa years in the Netherlands.
Read also Mensa Fonds NL born yesterday!
You might like this blog too: Professor Mönks receives international Mensa Award
Mensa Fonds NL born yesterday!
I am very happy to tell you that the business meeting of Mensa NL yesterday supported strongly and with great enthusiasm the creation of a Dutch Mensa Foundation. The decision that we want a Foundation was taken at the business meeting 2012 and we worked hard to realize it during the last year. It was my dream already during a long time to create a Dutch Mensa Foundation, and it takes time and effort to win people and turn it into a largely supported and well worked out idea: and I could!
Mensa members really feel that some things in society concerning high intelligence should change or be encouraged much more. The aims of the Dutch Mensa Fonds are:
– show / make visible the significance of high intelligence for society
– support research and best practices to use high intelligence optimally
– create positive awareness about high giftedness and societal opportunities
A 4-year program has been made and quite some Mensa members have offered financial support!The Mensa Fonds will work within the Netherlands and only outside in cooperation with Mensa Foundations in other countries; sofar, just American MERF (www.mensafoundation.org) but maybe, hopefully other countries will follow. Mensa is such a beautiful project to work on!
High gifted people at work
High gifted people who work freelance are much happier in their work than high gifted people who work in a company, actual Dutch research results reveal (see www.koosvanderspek.nl). In general, high gifted workers are positive about the work they do, they have a good work-life balance and not too much stress. However, when it comes to passion, HIQ’s who work independently are much more passionate than the average Dutch worker and HIQ’s who work in companies are clearly less passionate than the average Dutch worker. This is a big contrast.
Mensa members are not really surprised about this outcome. We knew this already and what we like is that there is now scientific evidence for it! 1250 HIQ’s cooperated for this research, 80+% of them being Mensans as Mensa the Netherlands supported this research of the University of Utrecht.
Another outcome: 37% of HIQ’s in companies are bored and lack challenge; this is again much more than average Dutch workers. So there is a lot of neglected potential in companies, even in times of crisis where companies absolutely need all available talents to survive and if possible innovate. HIQ’s are innovators. So most probably these research results (that are the first part of much more results to follow) indicate that Dutch companies are not good enough and not fast enough in innovation – yet. HIQ will be discovered in the near future as an excellent source of that, I am sure!
Professor Mönks wins Mensa Award
The Mensa Foundation (www.mensafoundation.org) has given the Mensa Foundation Life Time Achievement Award and a US$ 1000 cheque to Dutch professor Frans Jozef Mönks. It was handed out by the international Mensa chair Willem Bouwens at the ECHA conference in Münster, Germany last Thursday. Professor Mönks was himself one of the founders of ECHA (see also http://www.echa2012.info), now the biggest and best conference in Europe about gifted children with over 1000 visitors.
Professor Mönks wrote his first article on highgiftedness in 1963, a time when highly giftedness was far from getting any attention. He pioneered in this area, and he has an impressive track record. He was also the founder of the excellent Centre for Research on Giftedness at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (the Netherlands), and at the age of 80 he is still working at the Radboud University on ‘psychology and pedagogy of the gifted child’. Also he continues publishing on the subject.
Mensa the Netherlands (www.mensa.nl) is very proud of him and the Life Time Achievement Award that recognizes the immense benefits of his work for gifted children!
We are working to start our own Mensa Foundation in The Netherlands, in cooperation with MERF that has its roots in American Mensa. The launch is planned in 2013 when Mensa the Netherlands celebrates its 50 year existence. Further news about that will follow….
For now, I like to congratulate professor Mönks and thank him for his ‘life time’ work!
Last weekend professor Frank Linde, director Nikhef helt two lectures (for the price of one) for a Mensa audience. That happened because at the beginning of his lecture, he told that he had two lectures and asked the audience to choose. Mensans don’t choose if they foresee that lots of interesting information is coming up. And Frank Linde accepted the challenge, I think he thought the audience would get satisfied soon enough – but they didn’t. It was a great experience both for the lecturer and for the Mensa members. See the comments of Frank Linde here at his Nikhef blog. It is very funny and gives a great impression of the evening.
I was in the audience myself, preceding professor Linde’s lecture with the formal opening of that Mensa weekend as chair of Mensa NL. During the opening I gave away a puzzle of Japanese Mensa to the Mensa member who was first to solve a riddle. Frank Linde showed immediately great interest. He was intrigued by the Japanese Mensa puzzle – being intrigued the way he was, we call that: ‘potential Mensa material’. And he is right, curiosity is a joy and puzzles are there to be solved.
It is great that so many interesting people are interested in Mensa nowadays. We have transformed from a somehow inward looking club into an organisation open in full communication with the world. High intelligence can be fun: it is more appreciated now than it was in the past and both the world and the Mensa members themselves will profit from that shift of perception!
A new Dutch book was published with 13 interviews of high gifted people: Ongekend hoogbegaafd / the unknown highgifted by Jacqueline Lucas. She wants to show ‘from the inside’ what it is like to be high gifted, how this advantage can come with difficulties and under what conditions it will develop as a real advantage. The presentation of the book was last Friday, and the room was packed with participants. It was interesting to see how many people nowadays feel for this subject, even claim ownership of the theme. Quite some participants got recently aware of their high intelligence, and were in the middle of the process of ‘what does this mean for me’.
It is very good that talent development gets more and serious attention. The problem side of highgiftedness is still a bit over-represented in my opinion, but let’s hope and contribute so that that will stabilize. We need more policies to profit from the talents that we have in our country.
A recent government study shows that the Dutch education system can do more than average for weak students, compared to other European countries, but it can do less than average for strong students…. And we claim that our future lies in a good and strong knowledge economy. There is some work to be done then! Let’s go for it, and include high gifted people both in our education and in our working environment.
Other blogs that may be interesting for you:
Nikhef meets Mensa
Finals Mensa SlimmerIQuiz coming up
Ik kan vliegen: wow!
Mensa member Angela Riddering publishes book about trust
Last weekend, 13th of August, was Left Handers Day, meant to raise awareness for the special needs of left handed people. 15% of the worldwide population is left handed and that can create specific problems, for example cutting with ´normal´ scissors – designed for right handed people – can cause pain in wrists and other joints. One research even says that left handers die 9 years earlier than right handers, not because of stress as they have to adapt all the time, but because of accidents with machines developed for right handers.
Nevertheless nowadays no minority has only problems, every minority can prove its positive points. Left handers, they say, are more creative because they had to be inventive already in their childhood. Research also proved that left handers are more intelligent than right handers: 45% of high gifted people is left handed, says Sander Reijn, a shop owner for left handed products, in Het Parool newspaper last week.
Well well: since a few years I am the chair of thé high IQ association in the Netherlands, Mensa (www.mensa.nl), with 4000+ members and how come we do not know. So I looked on the internet and found their website, indicating where the rumour comes from and that it should not be taken too seriously. Intelligent people can be left handed: the article mentions Barack Obama, Leonardo da Vinci and Johan Cruijff as examples. But the reverse is not necessarily true.
When will groups learn that their emancipation does not depend of the supposed extra qualities they bring, but of the courage to be just who they are and create the necessary societal conditions for that.
What is unique about being a Mensa member (for Mensa, see www.mensa.nl or www.mensa.org) is the news and wisdom that can come to you from Mensa members all over the world. This week, a Mensa member from South Korea with a scientific background, enlightened us with this post deriving from South Korean wisdom, that you need to read twice to get to the bottom of it:
Once upon a time, a king ordered to execute a prisoner.
The prisoner cried and cursed that the king will suffer in the hell.
One of king’s subordinates said ‘You are too disrespectful to the king.’
The prisoner responded ‘I will be killed soon, I can say any word.’
Two subordinates returned to the king, and the king asked ‘Did he regret?’
One subordinate said ‘Yes, your majesty. He even prayed God to forgive you who ordered the execution.’
The king said ‘Hm, I must stop the execution.’
Another subordinate interrupted. ‘No, your majesty. It is a lie. He did not regret. and even cursed you’
The king said ‘I know that your words are nearer to the truth. But, his words sound better than yours.’
The subordinate appealed ‘Your majesty know the truth, but I am being blamed to tell a truth.’
The king said ‘He lied but he has a good intention, while you told me a truth, but you have a bad intention. Not infrequently, a lie with a good intention is better than a truth with a bad intention.’ At last, the execution was canceled.
Please learn from this South Korean wisdom and enjoy!