Studies show that 58 percent of us think our IQs are higher than average. That can’t be true, of course. But maybe one sign of a person with a below-average IQ is the delusion that he’s pretty intelligent. Having said that, however, I confidently predict that at least 58 percent of all Cancerians will exceed the mediocre norm in the coming weeks. The figure may even rise as high as 75 percent. The astrological omens suggest you have the potential to be smarter than you’ve ever been. Use your acuity constructively!
Well… Food for thought at any rate. When I was 14 my parents wanted to get me into a very exclusive local prep school. I passed the IQ tests, creativity tests, all the crap, and was accepted. We had to put it off due to finances. The next year I had to take the tests again. Passed again. That year I went. This school? Lakeside? Bill Gate’s alma mater? Whoopdeedo. At best that was a 50/50 shot at a chance at the golden ring. He got rich, I got drunk. Both of us can say that we are in the top of the IQ heap, at least according to the school’s criteria. He’s (or at least his company) getting sued left and right (although he is at least one of the richest men in the world but he lives in a veritable bunker)and I’m sober.
IQ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I know a few geniuses who killed themselves, they simply couldn’t take it. Their IQ’s didn’t bring them anything close to happiness. Went to the Lakeside prom with one of them, he put his head on a railroad track after three attempts using drugs. The train worked. Broke my heart and I wasn’t alone. Crushing blow. Some of them OD’d. Some of them made it big. Most of them were never heard from again, at least not by me.
I’m not convinced it is a guarantee of much of anything. It isn’t a free pass out of the trials of life. It doesn’t keep you out of the muck, the pain, and it doesn’t mean you’ll be financially comfortable.
I am certain of this. While I am indeed intelligent, most of what I learned that has served me well wasn’t learned at school. School of hard knocks maybe. I have not always been SMART. I had the ability to be a critical thinker but much of the time I didn’t bother to do so. Most of the things I learned I learned because I took risks. Lots of risks. Some of which endangered my life but I can tell you that sitting at a desk all day bored out of my mind endangered my life just as certainly as those indiscreet one night stands in my 20’s (okay, I’ll admit it, in my 30’s too). I live in the city of Ted Bundy and The Greenriver Killer and I can tell you that my behavior was pretty foolish back in those days. I’m lucky to be alive in more ways than one. If it wasn’t some scary serial killer it was the OD’s in a condemned hotel. But those administrative jobs for shithead drama queens? Nearly did myself in.
If you look at me today you would see a woman, pre-50, intelligent, clean, I’m told articulate, friendly, smiling. Saavy? Yes. Wise? Some say yes, some say no. It all depends on who you talk to. It’s hard for newcomers in my program of recovery to believe that I could possibly know anything about that kind of foolish and very much not smart life.
What would I rather have? Intelligence or Smarts? I know that I have both. They serve me well and I am grateful. I’ve been given many gifts in this life, I have much to be thankful for. I am glad that I use my abilities as a critical thinker today, I think I’m pretty good at it. But what I would really rather have after all I’ve been through is satisfaction that I am living a useful and thorough life. I would like that part time job to materialize. I want love that lasts, that commits. When I die I don’t want to say “I wish I had…”
As one of my movie heros, David St Hubbins says, “it’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”
- Stupid is as stupid does
- You can’t fix stupid
- Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity (I know a few of them don’t I)
- I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a ‘learning experience.’ Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a ‘learning experience.’ It makes me feel less stupid
- Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped
- The dumbest people I know are those who know it all
- Don’t be stupid. We have world leaders for that
- A little folly now and then is cherished by the wisest men
- Always be smarter than the people who hire you (I seem to do that all too often really)
- Critical thinking is to a liberal education as faith is to religion
- As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious
- Bear in mind that brains and learning, like muscle and physical skill, are articles of commerce. They are bought and sold. You can hire them by the year or by the hour. The only thing in the world not for sale is character
- Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats (one of my favorites)