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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More on Intelligence and Judgement.

Contrary to how I usually portray myself, as the kind of girl who wants to get along with everybody no matter what, I do dislike certain individuals. After trying to figure out why, I can say that the main reason I would ever dislike somebody is because they are too damn caught up in themselves. Every single person I have disliked throughout high school has been too cocky, too selfish, too wrapped up in their own accomplishments. They tackle life with this attitude that they are the shit. Perhaps this persona is actually brought about because of deep insecurities, too. I know that events may affect people, and some things are not their fault.

Then again, I believe that people DO have the ability to choose how they interact with others. Today's world forces us to compete with everyone. If you're not on top, or if you're not trying to get there, you're a piece of shit. Boo you. I guess some people feel the need to constantly show off what they're good for so that others can be aware of how successful they are. Some people are walking, talking resumes. However, they have yet to understand that not everybody is interested in what they are offering.

The obvious examples of this behavior is often overheard in high school hallways. Some asswipe student casually rattling off her current GPA or some girl who always refers to one of her classes with the full title of Honors Advanced Placement Biology 3 all the fuckin' time. She just wants people to know how she's doing academically. There were girls in high school that refused to associate with people because they weren't in honors classes.

I was sitting in my government class one day and the girl who sat behind me walked in with a bewildered look. She had accidentally walked into another classroom and felt the need to point out that the students in there didn't look like they would ever be honors students. Then she launched a little speech on how big the differences were and how uncomfortable she felt. Her perfect little world was cracked because she make a mistake. Couldn't even walk into the right class. Is this irony? I'm pisspoor with identifying it, my bad.

I understand the appeal in wanting to associate with like-minded people. The crowd I rolled with in high school was full of intelligent people. But I didn't seek out their friendship because I saw them as intelligent. In my experience, the group came together because we were nice to one another and could make each other laugh. The deep intellectual discussions came afterwards.

If it was one thing that I noticed, a humble smart person was extremely difficult to come across. They were rare occurrences. They were the ones who realized that, yes, they were making good grades and could pick stuff up easily, but they didn't let that become them. I was always aware that a huge chunk of us were notably recognized for academic success. But that didn't make me any more proud to call them my friends. It was a plus, yes. But what I valued the most was our ability to relate and converse.

They didn't feel the need to flaunt it. If someone needed help, they'd offer, but it didn't become a giant label for them. That sort of attitude makes a person easier to be around. The opposite attitude is that of condescension.

Is it satisfying to people? Does is perpetuate the fact that you are so smart? I fail to see the appeal of coming across as better than others because I see them as "dumb".

Does intelligence matter? It does, in a way. I'm more likely to be able to connect with someone if we have similar intellectual levels when it comes to certain topics, like psychology or racism or discrimination. But it is entirely possible to "get" to someone else on the purest level of interaction without diving into deep things like that. You don't have to be a fuckin' Honors student to be able to pour your heart out on topics like friendship and love or certain hobbies. Because these are things that every individual can enjoy and participate in. Yes, not everybody is into science. Not everybody can spell perfectly. Not everybody can remember every single grammar rule. But that should not mean that you should not even try to interact with someone because they don't seem smart.

Yes- there were times where I would actively avoid "stupid people", though. Stupid, in that case, referred to their ability (or lack of) to assess situations and adjust accordingly. These were the people who constantly showed a lack of concern for others and acted in a way that harmed them. For me, stupid people are the ones who don't care and who get caught up in themselves. I'd go so far as to say that some of the most intelligent people on paper were the very stupid ones. The people who didn't make efforts to better themselves, the ones who were stuck in ruts- I think those people simply weren't exposed. I would avoid them, yes, but my reason wasn't because I thought I was better because I was "smarter". It was more, neither of us could ever better the other.

Example: There was a girl who didn't know what a furnace was. Okay, and so yes- it was joked about and people kept on bringing up similar events and it was just a session of, "Wow, she's so dumb." I saw that as a side effect. Lack of exposure, closed off world, maybe she hadn't had the chance earlier on to encounter one. My attitude towards her has changed. I do not dislike her because she didn't know what that was. I dislike her because of the kind of person she is- outside of her expressed knowledge. Stupid to me is too much self-obsession and a lack of awareness of others. Cockiness is stupidity for me.

There are people who liken stupidity to a lack of exposure and I don't think that's fair at all. I guess it's tied into the desire to learn. Yes, you can live a very sheltered lifestyle, but if you have the desire to learn more and branch out, you are considered intelligent. However, some people are really stuck in their situations. Some aren't aware that there is more out there. I don't like it when others call these types of people "stupid". They're not, at least, not to me. They're in unfortunate situations. Instead of blowing up how "stupid" they are, why don't we help expose them to new things? Books and internet articles and conversations that can help.

When "smart" people just sit on their asses and get mindboners over how smart they are in comparison to others, it does nothing. They seem to worry about the growing number of "stupid" people, yet they do nothing to bring them up.

I hold people according to how they treat others and themselves, not their academic success. Not their pursuit of deeper information. It's nice to see people on the path to personal development, yes, but it's not a make-or-break thing for me. Although I might be able to have more intellectual conversations with those who share in chasing knowledge, I have been able to have incredibly enriching conversations with those who choose to live their lives differently.


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