Idiotic Intelligence

I came across these questions recently – Can an idiot lack intelligence and still have wisdom? Can a wise person lack intelligence? While trying to understand the meaning, I thought of keeping this as my topic of today.

Our experience says that not all successful people are intelligent and not all dejected people are idiots. Intelligence perhaps comes from facing series of failures. Our education system always uses the indicator to measure intelligence by comparing the marks scored. Obviously, we consider the top scorer as one of the intelligent brains in the class. But in reality, that top scorer get those marks by studying harder than others, spends more hours in studying and practicing. Where as an average student spends far less hours of study when compared to the top one but manages to score an average grade and sometimes on par with the top list. Now who do we consider intelligent among the two category? A study of around 3000+ students in 2013 found that the 2 biggest factors in achieving long-term academic success were motivation and study strategies — not ‘intelligence’!

Point 1: Intelligence is a relative concept. Intelligence is not measured on one concept but rather on a varied range of factors like –
quick in understanding, able to communicate well, innovative, good sense of humour maybe, good memory and so on. So if this is the case, then each one of us can easily fit into one or more of these factors and can be intelligent.

Point 2: Intelligence is not static. A so-called intelligent person might fail or turn out as hopeless after a semester or two due to circumstances prevailing around him. Similarly an idiot person during the first year of college could turn out to be an extremely studious and intelligent person from mid 2nd year due to the right kind of motivation received from a teacher or a tutor. SO, intelligence can be affected or induced by many external entities.

My conclusion: As seen, most of the characteristics which determine intelligence can easily be learnt and practised – for eg. way of articulating things can be learnt and excelled, mathematics can be mastered by determination and practise. We all need to firmly believe that Intelligence is not some DNA factor but can be learned and developed over a period of time. We will then be able to take on more interesting challenges, think out of box & take that extra mile out of the comfort zone without fear of failure. Failures are after all stepping stones to success and intellectuals also agrees on this point. What’s more? Lets us not stop ourselves by comparing to others, but unlearn, learn and relearn and develop into an intelligent person. Finally, I feel taking part and striving to stay till the end in this A2Z Challenge is also a path that leads to intelligence. 🙂

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