Clever - A Stupid Word
Why being afraid to look stupid shouldn’t matter when there’s not much sense to being “clever”.
Calling someone clever is such an odd and superficial concept and unit of measurement. Think about it. To put it bluntly, the minute we're born into this huge, huge world, full of of knowledge and information that are still yet to be discovered, we are born absolutely stupid. And as we grow, we're rated, measured and graded on how clever we are from the a scale that more or less goes:
Stupid — not very clever — clever — very clever — extremely clever — genius.
And not only are we measured along that scale based on our abilities, out of the millions of things people can do in this world, but that scale is also very dependent on which field they are categorised and authorised into—again, out of the millions of things that there are to do in the world. Like academic studies, for example. As a former biology student in college, I've had many people telling me that I must be "very clever" simply because I opted for and studied biology.
I am really not.
I’ve come to realise from a very early age and era of when parents expressed their desire of children becoming a doctors, lawyers or engineers, that people categorise what clever is not only by measuring how someone is capable of doing something but also by the social status of it, which is given by quite a large and irregular, constantly changing group known as society. For example, a person in the scientific field would be considered more clever than a person in the field of performing arts. And a doctor is usually somehow considered as more clever than a teacher from what I’ve grown to see, even though it was their teachers that taught them most of what they know to begin with (which would lead us to the question of why teachers are paid much lower than doctors are... but maybe for another time).
What I was studying is nothing more than figuring out and learning how things work. All I do to know is find out and read from books written by doctors and professors that are WAY more knowledgeable than what I know, yet probably still only know a minute percentage about everything in this world. And the obvious truth remaining that most people are unfortunately oblivious to is that no person knows everything. Had people realised that, maybe there would be less social pressure of being so perfect and more acceptance of being a human being.
If you were to ask me, I would say that the way someone choreographs a dance routine to fit the beat of the song and genre is more clever than what I know and do. The way some people structure masterpieces of art just by finding inspiration from one inanimate object; the way people can use technology at such an advanced level; the way people fuse old methods with fictional concepts to make something completely entrepreneurial, I think, is so much more clever than what I can do—because, believe me, I can just about use my phone, the internet and Microsoft Word.
Anyone can do what I'm doing. Anyone can learn. It's not just for "clever people" as if to say we were born with a certain level of "clever." You’ve been learning since the first breath of air you had taken in. And you still are.
No one should be intimidated or feel stupid by challenges that they might face that they may not be good at accomplishing the first time. It is very human to not accomplish something the first time too. Or the fifth time. Or the fifteenth time. Part of the process of living life is to learn. And if you’re not learning how to do something right, you’re still learning how not to do it wrong. So there is no reason to be caught up about how stupid you might look to someone else. There’s no reason to be caught up in how you should be living life according to someone else. Just live. And if someone too stupid to understand that says you do—I mean, come on, there should still be a limit to how stupid someone should be—you tell them that you’re just living your life and continue doing just that.