With Great Intelligence, Comes Great... Stupidity?

by: EccentricM

A person can be extremely intelligent, yet extremely foolish…

What do I mean? Well, I think that there is a difference between intelligence and wisdom. One can be intelligent, yet unwise, and an unintelligent person can be wise. The person with great intellect can think of many possibilities, creative ideas, solve great puzzles… yet can be completely dumbfounded when it comes to common sense and living in reality.

For all a person’s intellect they can not always grasp the fundamental foundations of life. Getting carried away by problem solving, hypothetical situations, philosophical fantasy, as opposed to actually thinking rationally and staying anchored to the real world. They may get so deep into an idea, theory or hypothesis, they end up looking into all the things to support their ideas, but losing all sense of realism and becoming completely blind the sheer absurdity of the things they are intellectualizing over. Extreme conspiracy theorists are a great example of this. A ironic situation really. At other times it’s looking ‘too deep’ into something in an effort to understand, it becomes like a person trying to read the page of a book with his nose on the page. You might get a real close look at a couple of words, but you don’t see the whole picture that a casual person would, because you end up trying too hard.

An intelligent person may know many things, but still make stupid decisions. They may over estimate their ability based on their intellect and then go ahead with a risky choice or something that they thought was the right path based upon an “over” evaluation, rather than seeing the situation for what it plainly was.

But this is not the only form of foolishness that a person with high intelligence may fall into. But they may fall into social foolishness or even arrogance. Sometimes a person with intelligence may develop a haughty attitude or superiority complex. And this can be a challenge for some people. This issue can be a very sneaky one. It creeps up slowly upon an individual, and before they know it they come across as a know it all to the people around them. They may become impatient and not understanding of others around them, or even viewing them as lesser because they cannot think on the same level as them. This form of irony indicates a lack of social and emotional intelligence. It is a sad state of affairs when this takes root.

I think ‘real’ intelligence is not just being able to think deep, solve problems and being able to have deep philosophical discussions, but to also understand the real world and the people in it. To be respectful of others, to listen, to “converse”, and not just tell. To understand that everyone has something special about them, something unique. No, not all people have the same level of intellect, but that does not take away their humanity, and their right to be treated as a human being with love. Everyone has something to share, something to teach, a unique experience or view on life. Sometimes there is more wisdom in being unintelligent, but being caring and making good choices.

We can think so much of ourselves sometimes. “I’m so great”. “I know best”. And eventually a person can become so self absorbed that they become blind the real things in the world, blind to the fact there are things bigger than us, blind to the importance of maintaining our relationships, the concerns of others and our “place”. None of us are immune to thinking we are superior, or that we know the best, or that we know the answer to all things. “If I were in his position…”, “Well, if ‘I’ were God…”.

We might be intelligent… but are we wise?

EccentricM also writes different articles. If you want to visit and read some of his blogs, just click here.

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