Chapter 10 Maslow: Holistic-Dynamic Theory 273
College professors and students have long recognized that some intellectually "average" students are able to make good grades, whereas some intellectually superior students make only average grades, and some bright students actually flunk out of school. What factors account for this situation? Motivation is one likely suspect. Personal health, death in the immediate family, and too many jobs are other possibilities.
Some years ago, a brilliant young college student was struggling through his third school. Although he performed reasonably well hi courses that aroused his interest, his work was so poor in other classes that he was placed on academic probation. Later, this young man took an IQ test on which he scored 195, a score so high that it can be achieved by only about one person hi several million. Therefore, lack of intellectual ability was not the reason for this young mans lackluster college performance.
Like some other young men, this student was deeply in love, a condition that made it difficult to concentrate on school work. Being hopelessly shy, the young man could not muster the coinage to approach his beloved in any romantic fashion. Interestingly, the young woman who was the object of his affections was also his first coushi. This situation allowed him to visit his cousin on the pretext of calling on his aunt. He loved his coushi in a distant, bashful sort of way, having never touched her nor expressed his feelings. Then, suddenly a fortuitous event changed his life. While visiting his aunt, his cousin's older sister shoved the young man toward his cousin, virtually orderhig him to kiss her. He did and to his surprise his cousin did not fight back. She kissed him, and from that thne on his life became meaningful.
The bashful young man hi this story was Abraham Maslow, and his coushi was Bertha Goodman. After the fortuitous first kiss, Abe and Bertha were quickly married and this marriage changed him from a mediocre college student to a brilliant scholar who eventually shaped the course of humanistic psychology hi the United States. This story should not be seen as a recommendation for marrying one's first coushi, but it does illustrate how brilliant people sometimes need only a small shove to reach then potential.
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