How Smart Are You

4447984_sIf you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you should know by now I like to think about things. It’s actually somewhat habitual with me, like a scientist working on his research until he has found the cure – something I definitely need to work on getting under control. But, moving on, and with that in mind, a fairly new client came to the office the other day driving yet another car that didn’t appear more than two years old ( I didn’t manage to get the make of the vehicle). I bring this up, because this same eighty-something year old gentleman has shown up with a 2012 convertible Corvette, a 2010 Thunderbird convertible, and a very recent year Jeep Liberty. All, of course, on different occasions as he negotiates the sale of his enormous bus type, Class A motor home. Now, this post has to do with intelligence, and I understand that has nothing to do with how much money one has – but, on the other hand, it kinda does. So, therefore, bear with me, since I had to set the stage.

Most normal people would think, “Gee, how much money does this guy have?” But, since I don’t fall in that category, my thinking immediately went to, “I wonder what my new senior friend did in his other life.” Well, when I asked him just that, his response came as quite a surprise. He answered, after some hesitation, “I owned my own companies, but….I worked most of my life as a physicist.” This little tidbit, he almost mumbled. His wife smiled at me, and echoed his pronouncement. But, at that point, I understood why he delayed his response. I suspected early on, but all of this simply confirmed him as being hugely unassuming. It could also, I’m certain, be explained in another fashion – if you tell people you handle guns or explosives, it puts them off.  Therefore, I can only imagine, if you’re already modest, telling someone you’re a physicist – in your mind, you’d believe it would turn someone off.

Back in the day, a friend and I had a running joke. Whenever we came upon someone exceptionally smart we would blame it on their unknowing mother, who while pregnant ate enormous amounts of cheese. Now, if you’re asking what that has to do with a person’s intelligence – it’s because of the large sum of protein found in that food. Now, my next question is, what’s the difference in that person whose intelligence quotient (I.Q.) is – oh, let’s say, 145 (that number and above puts one in the category of genius), and the person whose score is below that. The Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) had a show on recently that I missed talking about just that thing. What makes one person smarter than another? I mentioned my recent acquaintance, and his profession to my extremely left-brained husband, since he gets such a kick out of this type stuff. He proclaims to have always desired the brain of a “think-tanker,” my word, not his. I would say though, all of this has in deed something to do with neurons in the brain – maybe. Should’ve watched that show.

In any event, we are all aware that a child born with exceptional intelligence requires pushing – stretching their brain to new, and out of the box heights. This in turn, for lack of a better word, forces that gray matter to continue excelling. We know that if that same child is not repeatedly challenged they begin to migrate, intellectually, in the other direction. But, I do not want to think that is a reason. I want to believe it all starts in the womb. Which, of course, takes me back to the beginning of the circle, and I’m left asking again, why? I’m not a genius, but when I look at the issue – putting me in the question box – I suppose I could be smarter. Although, I can’t say how this would be accomplished. When I think about the people with whom one associates – I trust that works toward a portion of the ratio.

Then, let’s add college now to the mix. That, also lends, but again only as a piece of the percentage. Why? Because, you have one person who has to struggle to make it through, while the above average person may be able to work on an assignment, and complete it in one-quarter of the time. So, guess what? Here we are back at the start, and one more time I ask – why?  I remember a poster with a picture of an enormous home, and an eight car garage with every stall occupied by some fancy vehicle. The quote underneath read – “Reason for higher education.” That is very true, but it still doesn’t answer the question. I believe you have to start out with the capability, it’s not a learned process. Now, I need to add, yes – the more intelligent a person, the more important their job. In turn, the more significant the job, the bigger the paycheck. Right? Are you still wondering, because I am. But, I guess I’ll have to end this post continuing to question, and chalk all of this up to another marvel of the universe like: are there galaxies that really are infinite or why are dolphins social? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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6 thoughts on “How Smart Are You

  1. I’m smart about some things and dumb about others. What gets me is: there are geniuses who are entirely oblivious to what’s going on around them and make silly mistakes or act completely awkwardly. I think we all know people that kept a stellar GPA in school and don’t have a speck of common sense. Oh, and some intelligent people stretch their minds to the point of embracing the absurd (for reasons of their own). So, I think it depends on how intelligence is defined. I like the idea of testing one’s intelligence, but the tests will always be flawed because the creators of the tests are basing the standards of intelligence on…what? Man-made standards will always be imperfect. I think the only sure way to define what is really smart is to attempt to view it from the perspective of a Superior Mind, to question things in light of the Infinite One who designed our minds in the first place. Simple people move mountains and inspire great changes, too. Is it possible they have a form of intelligence that isn’t expressly definable or testable? I don’t know. Like you, I like to think about it. 🙂

    • I so totally agree. I wanted to include your comment on really smart people who have no common sense, but I didn’t want to offend anyone. I worked with someone just like that. He could not even understand how to use a new phone system, which did only take common sense.!end

  2. Veronica,

    Intelligence is not measured by education, social standing, business accomplishments, etc. In fact, I believe intelligence to be quite abstract. Take two people, each with an IQ of 150 (genius) and put them in the same life situations. Their personality differences may cause one to become a physicist and the other an artist. Or, one might become a world leader and the other a plumber.

    Intelligence does not connote motivation or drive. What is a highly intelligent person is also lazy? What if they have all kinds of potential but never capitalize on that? You said it yourself that “child born with exceptional intelligence requires pushing – stretching their brain to new, and out of the box heights” What if they are never pushed or challenged?

    Do accomplishments mean smarter?


    • Thanks for stopping by, Marc, and no, accomplishments do not mean smarter. However, I have this thing with provocative posts. I like to make my readers think. My story began with a character who is already intelligent – he is a physicist. The point was what makes one person that while another is something more menial. Also, just because you push a child that still doesn’t mean they will become genius, they have to be born that way. Some may, but definitely not all.

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