What is “Smartness” Anyway?

Quotations that have circulated inside of minds for centuries had not reached my understanding of their immediate appeal in which some folks are attracted. They appeared to reach an area of surface rather than soak up an actual meaning for whatever the phrase may be. However, their creation, especially popping in people’s epiphanies, is grand; that is an aid in accepting them for comparison. Reflecting on their popularity within society made ponder their relation to an actual label of a person’s intellect or higher thoughts.

Ironically, a fragmented thought reached my mind not too long ago. I lightly wrote the phrase, “don’t aim to impress, aim to inform,” in the margins of my notebook paper in the previous weeks. I scribbled it upon thinking about people’s quickness to deem someone smart based on a fleeting philosophical expression or “A+” that someone may receive on an exam. It feels as though there is an obligation to delve deeper into informing with certain reactions and a finding of necessity to combat being humble for the sole sake of morality. Being modest becomes a function.

Whether it be the assumptions surrounding those deemed “nerds” or scholastic high achievers,” or the expectations hoping to brand a student’s success, over applauding academics these individuals creates issues that can eventually reach adulthood, and therefore, cripple the ability of truth and strong knowledge to be presented.

It is simple to toss the word “smart,” and it is admirable, in most societies, to have the term added to one’s list of qualities. The problem results in the receiver’s shift in attitude-the act of automatically allowing it to tilt their status, rather than allowing it to form a balance. This reaches beyond a youth’s satirical graphic t-shirt or tossing of the word around in jest. This issue is raised when “smart” worn with an air that exceeds a standard of dignity and modesty through the truth of knowledge. This can be seen in various aspects-the person overly expressing their achievements, those who constantly correct grammatical errors, the person who fails to share their expertise for fear of others becoming greater their status.

Upon acquiring facts, it is necessary to embrace the question, “But, what else?” Grinding subjects until they reach their core should not be overlooked. The continuation of asking questions about one’s work, whatever that may be or mean, is a needed method. Perhaps another step is accepting the wrong answer, the road blocks, and the fact that there’s “much more where that came from”.

Considering knowing something for the sake of knowing it is a decent and dangerous force in the realm of intellectual development. For the latter could speak to one’s ego and form a person’s personality. It could be harmful to point fingers at an inherent tendency based on an unforgiving nature and tendency to be “above the rest”. Nevertheless, it is shameful to allow it to boost a person to a position to be looking down on another human in a pool of negative light. This outcome has the greater ability to spread itself to other people and began an epidemic of arrogance. Thus, the result could be contradictory. So, should one refrain from asking at all? On the other hand, a greater challenge exists within remaining passionate about abstract knowledge or plucking aspects of the planet for a pure yearning to know it.

 I suppose college can be labeled as the cause for pushing me to explore this topic: The exposure to different attitudes, my own development, advancing thorough courses, and other factors that I cannot recall at the moment. It makes me want to explore (unmask) the common associations that people create with glorifying the “smart” one. I attempted to do this without a cynical approach or without relaying a misinterpreted “hater” quality; it was about releasing what came of an experience with the use of a self-formed quotation. I, in essence, learned to shift a previous belief about what those minute phrases that carry so much popularity. I simply wanted to air my beliefs about wiping off some possible misconceptions about smartness, but maybe I smeared it. More questions await. 


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