on genius

Genius: The ability to see the potential in the accidental. Theodore Cheney suggests this a little more carefully in Getting the Words Right.

How terrible is it that we usually see genius as something mystical, bestowed upon someone by an unseen force of nature, to be revoked just as mysteriously at some future date? Maybe that's just our romanticism of great art? What if Cheney's right and true genius is something much more mundane?

It would mean that genius isn't given to anyone, but rather available to everyone, so long as they're willing to listen.