My definition [of genius] would be about being completely involved in your art form. So that's outside of sciences. Within the arts it's about taking people on a journey, being able to involve me completely-whether you're singing a song, whether it's in the theater, whether you're dancing-if you can make me forget I'm sitting in a seat, that's my definition of genius.
There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.
Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact makes much impression on him, and another none. This sculpture in the memory is not without preéstablishcd harmony. The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray. We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. It may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give hint no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver. In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse befriends; no invention, no hope.
It is unethical not to know. It is unethical not to think. It is unethical not to love. It is unethical not to live an impassioned life. It is unethical not to attain greatness. It is unethical to succumb to the fear of envy and the conspiracy of mediocrity. It is unethical not to self-bestow genius. It is unethical not to be the first monkey.
Yasuhiko Genku Kimura
Source: Think Kosmically Act Globally: An Anthology of Essays on Ethics, Spirituality, and Metascience
I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
Source: Essays and Poems (Everyman's Library (Paper)), Pages: 54