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It’s okay to be smart, intelligent, witty, bright, whatever word you want to look up in the thesaurus to describe just how truly superior you might be, or think you are. But the fact of the matter is that this doesn’t win you a lot of friends, at least not when it’s shoved in their face continually. There’s nothing wrong with being intelligent, in fact it’s a quality that many people want and will try anything to acquire.

There is no such thing as ‘real’ intelligence since the measure of someone’s intelligence isn’t just confined to how smart they are, no matter that an IQ score can wow some people and make others feel inferior. The truth of intelligence isn’t bound up in a person’s ability to quote some obscure passage from a poetic text that few if any know about to sound sincere or somehow intellectual. It’s not even being able to figure out a complex mathematical equation in a fraction of the time it takes others.

Being smart is a matter of genetics + application of one’s natural skills towards a desired goal. The more we learn, the more we know, the more we know, the more we want to learn, and so on and so forth. A great deal of intelligence comes from supposedly mindless repetition of those skills that we’ve been developing since an early age using the experiences we go through and the knowledge we gain as continue to advance.

But knowledge all on its own, intelligence without a proper foil to adhere to, is intellect that is wasted since it strives forward without knowing just how or why the skills and experience gained is important, or how and why it should be used. A natural occurrence that strikes some people early on but others at a later date is the addition of wisdom. Where intelligence is knowing who, what, when, where, why, and how, wisdom is the bond between them all that creates a beautiful sense of order among the chaos. In essence, wisdom is the culmination of experience gathered through the pursuit of knowledge, the ability to know when to use said intellect and to apply it in terms that make the world a better place.

You might be smart, and that’s great, but if you’re not wise it tends to show out more often than not since you’ll deduce that your intelligence is your greatest defining trait and puts you miles above anyone else. This isn’t exactly a failing, but it is a flaw. Without the wisdom to go with it, your intellect will be an incomplete thing. Thankfully at some point in everyone’s life wisdom will come, no matter if it’s sooner or later.

Just be grateful when it does.

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