Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance. William Gaddis
A word to the wise ain’t necessary; it’s the stupid ones who need the advice. Bill Cosby
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Einstein
Most of us notice stupidity in others without acknowledging it in ourselves. We are quick to label the stupid actions of others. How often do we point our finger at ourselves as say, “Stupid?”
Using “stupid” to describe the actions of others can be rather judgmental. People do stupid things and there is no doubt about it. Driving at excessive speed, darting in and out of traffic; is “stupid.” What about those who text message on their cell phone when driving; or those spending more money than they make? Is it stupid to ignore nagging health issues? What about such things as over-eating, drinking too much, not exercising, not paying bills on time, and a long laundry list of such things? At what point do we open our eyes and spend more time noticing our own stupid actions rather than those of others? How many stupid and ignorant things belong to us?
Our time is better spent monitoring and evaluating our own stupidity and ignorance. If we focus on ourselves we will have far less time to judge others, right or wrong. A good practical definition of our stupidity would be doing or not doing something, intentionally, knowing that in all likelihood it will not work out well. Stupidity applies to situations where we know better and do it anyway; where we do dumb things instead of wiser things; giving into instant gratification instead of making the better decision; knowingly doing wrong instead of right. If this is not stupid, then what is? Based on the above criteria, how many of us do stupid things? How many of us do something stupid every day? How stupid is that? Forest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
The opposite of stupidity is intelligence. Most of us have enough intelligence to avoid the majority of stupid or ignorant things we choose to do. Why do we choose to be stupid? Some appropriate answers would be laziness, lack of discipline, low motivation and poor concentration. This would include not exercising enough personal responsibility and accountability. Let us throw into the mix a noticeable shortage of high standards, principles and good old fashioned morals. We do not use our brains as they were intended to be used. We overcome stupidity by doing whatever it takes to make the wise and intelligent decision at every opportunity, no matter what. It is not easy as it sounds.
Challenge: How does it feel to call yourself stupid? Can you readily admit to those actions that are appropriately described as stupid? The best way to reduce stupidity is to not do stupid things. The time to do this is at every decision making moment. You can choose the stupid and ignorant, or the wise and smart. The ramifications of this are obvious. Hold yourself accountable to making better choices. Do this one smart decision at a time.
Wisdom: Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors though him that loved us. Romans 8:37
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering; gentleness, goodness and faith. Gal: 5:22
The more we are distanced from God, the more likely we will do dumb, ignorant and stupid things. This includes trying to live life only in our own strength. Depending upon our level of maturity and intelligence we may have some success at this. However, we will always fall short of our true potential. We were designed to have close fellowship with God. We cannot be at our best without having a personal and interactive relationship with him.
Prayer: Help me to listen to your guidance and counsel. Help me walk the paths that lead me where I should go.