Intelligence and Stupidity

image002 (1)Have you ever wondered why some of the most intelligent, capable leaders do some of the most incredibly stupid things? Really dumb things!

David Letterman, recent host of The Late Show, held a segway called Stupid Human Tricks. More recently, Good Morning America has created a category for news items termed Dumbest Criminals. [Like one man who turned himself in for the reward money. Truly.]  Then there are The Darwin Awards; a yearly review of the most creative ways some of us have eliminated ourselves from the human gene pool. Even reading them is unfathomable.

Too many of us have HHMD— Human Hoof & Mouth Disorder. Open mouth; insert foot. ‘Nough said. We simply do not think before we speak; and so, we sound stupid, offensive, or just plain weird. But the result is the same; people come to expect outlandish behavior from us and they cease to take us seriously. Our stupid comments, though even humorous at times, get in the way of our true-selves being known or trusted.

Why do seemingly intelligent people act so stupidly sometimes? I believe they step out of their area of expertise and speak out-of-turn, off-the-cuff, and without thinking. Maybe they miss obvious social-clues, maybe they’re nervous, or are merely looking for filler that turns out to be inappropriate. Who knows?!?

The solutions should be quite obvious—THINK. True, having to think before you speak will limit your free-flowing response; but it is a necessary limitation. Words, once said, are very difficult to take back. There is nothing wrong with a pause-for-thought before we vocalize our minds…, or lack thereof. The same goes for ACTIONS. How will what you do affect the other person or group?

Even the most intelligent among us can still be wise and creative without being stupid…, hopefully. Be forgiving of people’s faux pas, even of your own. Be the first to admit that you have acted stupidly. Yes, it could be embarrassing; but it sure beats expending further energies to cover up.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

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