“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” –Stephen Hawking
Have you ever been in class and somebody continues to answer all of the questions. When you finally get the chance to prove your intelligence to your teacher, you mess up. You answer the question wrong. Your classmate’s eyes are practically burning a hole in your head and you almost hear the judgment ringing in your ears. That one question does not determine your intelligence, but it’s whether or not you take that moment and learn from it.
This is what I like to call the learning moment. Many people, including Albert Einstein, know this moment well. This is a moment in time where you take the silent criticism and deadly stares, and turn them into a time when you focus, rewire your mind to the correct answer, and find how it works.
Like many “smart” students I am expected to do extremely well in school and to help academically less fortunate kids. Though I find one young lady in my graduating class to be quite inspiring. This young lady is considered “dumb” and “clueless,” though she is currently enrolled in all college level classes. People judge her intelligence, yet she is unaffected by the useless opinions and carries on like nobody ever saw her make a mistake. I often ask myself, why? It’s because she is not a normal 16 year old girl that goes to school; she is a learner, critical thinker, and a genius. Though she may not see it yet, someday she can reach her full potential and become the next academic hero this world needs.
Jonah Lehrer wrote an article for The New Yorker called,”Why Smart People Are Stupid.” In this article Lehrer mentions a question that he asks people in his town. Lehrer shows that most people,” responded quickly and confidently,” then goes on to prove the confident people wrong. Jonah Lehrer believes that people are either “smart” or “dumb.” Though he makes a good point with his question, he fails to realize that most of those people that he asked had gone home and instead of accepting the fact that they were wrong, took that trick question and created their own.
The reason why most people believe that there is a social class like difference between “smart” and “stupid,” is because 7 in 10 people believe they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, if you aren’t confident in yourself how do you expect people to be confident in you and your mental abilities. How are you supposed to believe in your abilities if you can’t first learn that you can do anything you want to.
Virginia Castiglione wrote an article called, “ One Day You’ll Wake Up and Realize You’re Not Smart Enough,” on ThoughtCatalog. Her article’s point was that people can have brains,but heart is more important. I say, why can’t we have brains and heart? Castiglione assumes that having brains is a set IQ score and that’s how smart you are until you are deceased. But, we can increase our intelligence and help people, which is having “brains” and having “heart.” This way in the end we can have increased our self-esteem and the self-esteem of the people around us.
IQ quizzes are just limiting tests that are supposed to put you in a group that lets you know that, “you can only be this good.” They make you see who is better than you so that you have lower self-esteem and you constantly measure yourself to them. All IQ points do is kick dirt in your eye when you work hard and feed you with a golden spoon when you don’t deserve it.
When the final bell rings and the lessons of the day have been taught, look back and take every wrong as a new chance and every right as a routine. I challenge you to take every wrong answer and turn it into a right opportunity, and maybe someday we can be like that young lady who has the mindset of an revolutionary.