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23 – Stupidity

Ironically, one of the worst things you’ll find out there in your everyday life is stupidity. A simple proof of this is that on average 50% of the world is less intelligent than you, simply due to a bell statistical distribution where the average person (i.e., you) is in the middle.

Moreover, not everyone who is smarter than you is necessarily mature, knowledgeable, wise, or have certain experiences that come with age. Therefore, chances are you are often surrounded by people who for one reason or another are unable or unwilling to make optimal choices, help you properly, understand logical arguments, or make proper arguments on their own.

This may sound harsh or even arrogant to believe, but think for a minute and you’ll see you have encountered this before. Think of that person who refused to accept an argument no matter how many facts you threw in his face. Or that person who used fallacy after fallacy when arguing about something, and still thought they were being clever. Or that time your boss or teacher scolded you over something you did, despite the fact they were obviously wrong in doing so.

Something you can notice yourself however is that, actually, there is no such thing as stupid people (barring those with mental deficiencies). Instead, what we usually call stupidity is veiled ignorance – we just call it like that because it’s more direct and easy to understand. People do stupid things because they are immature, too young to understand, lazy, greedy, or just plain human – even our memory and coordination aren’t infallible. Ignorance is the real source of stupidity in our daily life.

And you’ll find plenty of stupid – ignorant – people out there. Every day. You will have to learn to accept this, because it won’t change anytime soon. Whenever you find yourself in an unjust situation, ask yourself if you aren’t dealing with an ignorant – stupid – person, and if so move to accept the situation or help the person surpass his ignorance in the moment, instead of getting angry over it. After all, you can’t change the past.

At the same time, accept you yourself are ignorant to some extent, and others will think that way of you at times. Identify those moments of ignorance and try to self-improve to avoid them in the future. Sounds easy, right? It won’t be.

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