Cleverness is not wisdom.

~ Euripides ~

How Dumb Are You?

November 11th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 56 secs

Just how dumb are you?

Just how dumb are you?

When was the last time somebody called you dumb? Yesterday, today… last week? Perhaps you happened to say it to yourself. Quite apart from its literal meaning being a harsh slur against people who can’t speak, I’ve got news for you. You ain’t “dumb” at all.

I imagine you already know that. But then again, I suspect you might also harbor secret thoughts that in some ways you are below par.

This is normal of course. Today, more than ever, you are expected to know something about virtually everything. At least, that’s often how we measure intelligence.

Yet, there is  lot more to intelligence than knowing information. We wouldn’t call a dictionary intelligent, or a thick fact book. So why do we consider a head full of facts a mark of intelligence?

Chalk it down to history. People used to marvel at those who could recite long poems, spit out historical statistics, and demonstrate an extensive memory of respected knowledge.

Yet, nowadays, those who respect it most view intelligence differently. How well can we learn? What approaches do we initiate to make sense of what is presented? And, how do we interpret information to use it productively?

Such questions get closer to what intelligence really means, which suggests something crucial. You can discover anything that can be learned. That is one heck of a ginormous fact to take in. But consider this: regardless of what you already know or don’t, you have the potential to learn fresh ideas about anything!

Will it be easy? Can you pick it up quickly in say a minute or two? Well, that depends on you and what you’re studying. But chances are, complicated ideas require time to decipher.

But that’s fine because you are a learning being. You are a natural at learning new ideas. So, really, that capacity to discover proves you are indeed clever.

Everyone is really. Or, at least, they ought to be. It’s just that pulling down the shutters and hanging out the “we’re closed” sign makes it difficult to think about anything differently.

Some folk acquire discovery hostile concepts that make learning threatening. Still, this kind of dumbing down is more about flawed thinking systems than capacity. Though, the net effect is much the same.  Close our mind off from enquiry and learning anything feels like an alien concept.

Even so, the potential remains. Excluding profound disability, any person who is willing to learn, can.

So, are you dumb? You know you aren’t. What’s more, your capabilities are greater than ever. It’s just a matter of application, practice, and focused persistence. With the right kind of approach and willing curiosity, you are so capable, you’re positively dangerous!

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