Something about these guys that’s just awesome.
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Some folks like to enter a room, either literally or metaphorically, and think that they’re the smartest people there. It’s normal since it happens when folks don’t want to see their own faults and want to instead focus on the shortcomings of those around them. The biggest problem with this is that if everyone does this then there’s not much room for growth since no one is really willing to learn. The idea of being the smartest person in the room is that, typically, you’re in the wrong room, because honestly if you’re the smartest then you need to find a room where there are other people that have already realized that they have faults and don’t know as much as others and are there to learn.
That’s where some people come up short, they think they have nothing to learn from anyone else. I’ve harped on this a few times and I get the feeling that I’ll say a few hundred more before that final day comes, but being the smartest person in the room is not something to aspire to, at least not if you really want to be considered wise. It’s great to be intelligent, it’s a wonderful feeling when you know things about something, but thinking you know everything about everything is the kind of arrogance that tends to turn people off at times, even if they seem ingratiating and decide that you’re okay since you’re a wellspring of knowledge. Real wisdom however comes from knowing that you’re not the smartest person in the room and that you can always stand to learn something.
Some folks don’t get this as they seem to see life as a series of contests or arguments that they need to win in order to prove their superiority over others. They want to be the smartest and will gladly claim that they know more than others whether it’s true or not. The one thing that’s proven true throughout life though is that if you know then talking about it isn’t necessary, if you don’t then you’re bound to run your mouth and let everyone think you do.
Personally, I don’t want to be the smartest in the room. Yes I do know a lot about some things and a little about a lot of things, but as a person I’d rather be able to walk into a room and learn rather than sit and think that it’s pointless because I know all I need to know while the rest is irrelevant. I’d rather be a wise man that still needs to learn a few things now and again than an intelligent person that thinks they’ve done, seen, and experienced it all.
After all, how boring would it be to know everything about everything?
Never been in band, but this is impressive.
“What the hell do you mean by that?”
I blanked at that moment, wondering just where the vehemence in her voice had come from. Honestly I was thinking I should have expected it, but she must have seen that hesitation in my eyes since she went on attack mode almost immediately.
“Do you mean it’s busy because you’ve had to work, because you’ve had to do your job? Or do you think it’s a busy day because there are people in the store that are making it impossible for you to just sit around with that little slut on your side of the store and bullshit all day?”
She was talking about a young woman named Renee that was nice, flirtatious, but not entirely bright. Renee was fun to talk to and work with, but she didn’t draw my attention that much since she was more attracted to a younger Latino employee named Ray. To be fair those two were off talking and goofing around fairly often, while I was picking up their messes. But that wasn’t the issue right then.
“So tell me again how busy it is,” she said, positively glaring at me now, “I’d just love for another one of you nitwits to tell ME, just how hard your job is.”
What came next was a low blow, but it felt damned good, I’ll admit it.
(to be continued)
So many time I’ve tried…
Now and again I ask myself to stand back and see things from a different perspective. It’s fair since I don’t suffer from PTSD, I haven’t been traumatized in a life-altering way, and I don’t know what it’s like to live in fear. But the moment I try to think about what it would be like to need a ‘safe space’ my mind suddenly overloads as the level of ridiculousness this requires is just too much to fully comprehend. The inane idea that a safe space will keep people insulated and secure from the world isn’t the confusing part. It’s the idea that they won’t have to go back into that same world that facilitated the need for a safe space that seems a bit, well, dumb.
It’s like freaking out about getting sandy after swimming at the beach, of course you can go back in the water and wash it off, but sooner or later you’re going to have to come in and you’ll get all sandy again. Get that? The safe space doesn’t negate the world. It might give you a reprieve and allow you to sit with like-minded individuals that need the same crutch (yes I did call it a crutch, it wasn’t a mistake), but eventually you will have to go out and face the world all over again, and unless you can do that then the safe space will be where you live for a good part of your life.
It’s true, personally I don’t feel the need for a safe space since I’ve never been made to fear for my life in such a manner. But even trying to look from the other side it seems far too likely that while some folks might need this quiet spot now and again, others use it to escape the responsibility of living in a world that is NOT nice, that is NOT kind, and WILL break you if you allow it.
Sometimes you’ve got to be controversial. Sometimes you’ve got to be the one that takes things too far. You’ve got to dare to hurt people’s feelings, to piss people off, and to make them think that you’re either insane or a dangerous, dangerous person. Because that’s how innovation works. That’s how moving ahead is done.
There are limits of course, you don’t need to scare people intentionally be controversial, though it’s going to happen, believe that. People often feel challenged and afraid of something they don’t know about, they fear what they don’t know, and as a result many will lash out, they’ll call the person that introduces this idea a fraud, a fake, a madman, anything and everything to make themselves feel comfortable.
They’ll try to discredit that person, they’ll find ways that can be used to make it seem as though this individual is less than stable. Hell, they’ll even dig into the past to make sure that people know ‘who they’re dealing with’. Some people and their ideas are truly dangerous to society as a whole, while others are made to seem this way because it fits conveniently into the narrative that those that are trying to sway society want to push. Yes, yes, conspiracy and all that, blaming people and blah, blah, blah.
Those that are truly innovative and find a way to push their idea without rancor, without bias, and without anything but the genuine need to help those around them, to shake things up without tearing them down, will definitely find a way to be accepted in their own time, or in an era that will come later that might see what they were trying to achieve. Some think that later is no good, that something that works needs to be delivered now. But that’s not how controversy works with humans. As a species if we see it, don’t like it, and can’t understand it, then we seek to either vilify and destroy it, or push it away and simply ignore it. Not always, but sometimes.
But if you recall from history, controversy is how things move forward. It’s how we learned our world is round (sorry, not sorry flat earthers), it’s how we learned that a slew of things about our existence that we once thought were heresy and just a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo. Someone came along to shake things up, and in doing so opened our eyes.
Sometimes you’ve got to be the one to do the shaking, if only for the hope that people will wake up and see the world for what it is, not what they want it to be.
I’m gonna be…
It says a lot doesn’t it? I know very well that some folks are going to scoff at this and tell me I talk too much, that I post too much, and am therefore a hypocrite. But confidence does a couple of other things and doesn’t do a couple of things that makes it obvious who’s got it and who doesn’t.
For one, those that are confident in what they do and what they stand for don’t feel the need to talk constantly. They don’t go on and on about how they’re so great, about their accomplishments, and how they’ve achieved this or that and have done so much for others. Confidence is the quiet knowledge that you’ve done something you can be proud of, and the awareness that the people who have benefited are grateful.
Confident folks don’t feel the need for accolades as the good feeling that comes from a job well done is the greatest of rewards. But then again the wise don’t shun the recognition of others, seeing it as appreciation for what they’ve done and a chance to help people even further as they show them the kind of grace they exhibit in being lauded for their work. Confident people know how to bask in the attention and not demand it, thereby showing that they can accept praise without needing to be constantly applauded.
Those that live with confidence know their worth. They live with the knowledge that they’ll make mistakes, that they’ll screw up from time to time and learn from it.
People with confidence in what they do don’t feel the need to tear others down, which in today’s world is almost a foreign concept at this point. The need to excel and push past others, to tear each other down for our differences rather than accept them and move on or accept them and be united in our goals is far more prevalent, and despite the admission of confidence in those that would do such a thing, this trait is still heavily stained by the need to diminish others, which is a decided lack of confidence in oneself when it comes to their own life.
Confidence inspires, it builds, it allows us to understand one another, and it allows us to help others up rather than tear each other down. If you understand what it is to be confident then you understand what it is to build other people up so that they too can reach their overall potential.
Just picture Judd Nelson with his fist in the air and it works.