Wednesday, July 18, 2012

...Smarts and Stupids is Relatives...

I had a strange and somewhat humbling experience while I was going through a gigantic stack of training evaluations earlier this week.

I review these things pretty regularly and I’m noticing more and more that while most of the attendees have an advanced degree in whatever, more than half of them are barely literate.

I don’t mean common misspellings or grammar errors. I mean I’m pretty sure some of these people probably can’t read very well at best, or are completely illiterate at worst. Unbelievable the things they write. And these were handwritten evaluations so it wasn’t like they were typing when their fingers slipped off the home row.

I’m telling you there were a lot letters put together but not a lot of words.

Some of them were (I think) trying to complain that their skill level was above the training content. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they meant their job skills and not their English skills.

Still it’s hard to not believe that part of being well-educated is the ability to read and write, but I guess not.

The humbling experience came from how many people tried to sound all smurt and stuff. I could tell they were supposed to be saying something thoughtful or intelligent but it was mostly coming across like, “we who that are always we that who”

It was kind of funny and it was the sort of thing that almost made sense if you really reached for it, but mostly I wept for the wasted ink.

I’m probably guilty of it more than I realize so it was a nice reminder to check myself.   Transferring your thoughts to print sometimes lets you know how weird or not so smart your thoughts were in the first place.

I like to believe that I am a smart person, but what I mean when I say that is that I’m aware of how much I don’t know and I’m eager to learn as much as I can.

Maybe that really means I’m a complete idiot.

My Uncle Eddie once said to me “Smarts and Stupids is relatives.”

At the time I visualized two families with the surnames “Smarts” and “Stupids” at a wedding, reunion or other family function interacting as relatives might.

Fast forward a whole bunch of years and I understand that it’s easy to feel like a genius in certain company, but sometimes the smartest thing you can do is be the dumbest person in the room, and pay attention while you’re in there.

Case in point, I was being my usual self and quietly observing the conversation of a group of fairly new friends. I understood about half of the exchange, and the whole time my feelings were switching between, “I have no clue what you’re talking about” and “I love you, man!”

It has always been exciting to me to be around people that know a lot about something I know almost nothing about, but we get older and we get settled and before we know it, the excitement is a thing of the past.

We don’t even look for it anymore. We don’t expect it. Maybe we think we don't deserve it.

I think we probably do our best growing in life by challenges and experiences, and I’m feeling very appreciative these days for the new challenges and experiences in my life right now.

I’m hopeful for good things.

Ooh, here, I just thought of one for you:

The wise man knows what he doesn’t know.

Wait, I just came up with another one:

Whatever was has been but what is maybe isn’t what will be.

Ha! Genius!

Impossible to not move to this week’s first earworm…
Nu Soul Guru – Indian Summer

Ice Cube – Wicked

Ice Cube - Wicked by keepitreal

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