It is unfortunate that those with the most valuable insight on a topic are regularly considered too ignorant to share it adequately. And–due in large part to the Goliath we imagine denouncing us for our sheer stupidity–we volunteer our own weight to the silencing throng. And thus–by withholding valuable, reasoned opinion–we ensure that the ones heard most often are they who are not worth hearing.
But I contend that intelligence is entirely subjective. Humans are extremely intelligent by nature, and an individual’s understanding is in a state of constant change. Attempts to measure it at any given point in time prove inadequate. In addition, any random moment can carry a number of factors that distort the image of intelligence, which is all it’s reduced to. Meaning, our concept of intelligence is no more than a facade, and some are better at maintaining the illusion than others. Those who play it well are bestowed power to deem people and subjects as having or lacking intelligence. And should some person or idea receive the dreaded label of “dumb”, they are cast aside with no hope of redemption.
But let me make clear the line I am drawing between intelligence and knowledge. Knowledge of a subject can be shown quite objectively. Take for example the comparisons of a biologist and a mechanic, a carpenter and a lawyer, an architect and an administrative assistant. Each knows more about their subjects than I do, and it is this knowledge that encourages me to seek their expertise. And yet the biologist, lawyer, and architect will usually be considered more intelligent than the others. Digging reveals that what we are perceiving is merely a prejudice. Certainly they’re required to work harder to attain accreditation. And perhaps a retention of more in-depth knowledge in a very specific area is also a necessity. And while I applaud this effort and study, I must point out that it carries no intrinsic intelligence.
In like manner, while some discussions require a high degree of knowledge, others only require a minor amount. But all intelligent discussion must have a healthy supply of logical reasoning. And here I promote an oft obscured truth; logic is the people’s domain. For when does reason not react almost as an instinct? Certainly we train ourselves to hone such skills or to stop them for fear of where they may lead, but when doing so we interact with the raw material. We never alter its amount.
So, I encourage all to join in the conversation–whatever yours may be–and to do so without fear. But certainly not in the trend of the day by rushing thought and judgement. Take time to form your opinion and to gain the knowledge at work in the discussion–you will still be relevant when you are through, and your intelligence will shine brighter for it.