Are You Smarter than You Think?

  You’re probably smarter than you think. Most people are. This doesn’t mean most make great decisions or achieve a lot, but that underlying ability is often there, waiting for the chance to come out and show what it can really do.

  When we’re kids a big part of our job is to push our agenda to see what works, what we can get away with and what leads to unpleasant consequences. It’s left to our folks to set limits for us so we don’t kill ourselves in the process. It’s not an easy job and no matter how great your parents were a lot of their messages came across as “you don’t know what you’re doing” and for the most part that was probably true.

  Societies ‘more primitive’ than ours usually have a ritual called ‘the rite of passage’. In this ritual a sub-adult can prove themselves competent and worthy of adult status, typically by performing a set of difficult and / or dangerous tasks successfully. This is followed by a ceremony where the sub-adult is ‘transformed’ into an adult and from then on out, to both themselves and their society, they are no longer some dumb ass kid but an adult worthy of respect.

  Aside from some ill advised drinking rituals our society does not have a defined marking place for us to shift gears from adolescence to adulthood. This can leave us with the lingering sense that on some level we’re still dumb ass kids.  

  Further, the road to any type of competency or wisdom is strewn with errors and mistakes, ask anyone whose achieved anything of significance. Mistakes are how we learn and grow. In spite of this a preponderance of people respond to any error as proof of hopeless incompetence. Even more sadly many of us do this to ourselves.

 To compound this, being able to logically think for one’s self, (and thus think one’s self out of conundrums like this), is not part of the required curriculum of any public education system currently operating in the United States. Clearly learning to think for one’s self is not important enough to be part of a general education in the opinions of the administrators who decide what kids need to be taught. 

                      You’re probably a lot smarter than you think.

Slack/2011

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