Life

What Exactly Makes a Person Smart?

How exactly do YOU define intelligence?

I was listening to talk radio today (*gasp*) and the subject of intelligence came up.

What exactly makes a person smart?

Is a person smart if he/she believes or supports something that is wrong? (Which begs the question, what is the definition of wrong? And what’s wrong for one person isn’t wrong for another person).

Is a person smart if he/she uses big words? Or can articulate an argument? Perhaps a person is smart if he/she has an expensive degree from a well-known university.

Does being smart mean one can regurgitate facts, figures, passages? Does being smart mean being a good public speaker, or having the ability to convince normally rational, down-to-earth people to elect someone foolish? (*Cough-Obama-Cough*)

What exactly is the definition of smart?

When someone calls someone “smart”, exactly what are they referring to? The way they’re dressed? Their demeanor? Their speech? Their grammar?

What?

I always wonder exactly what people mean when they call someone smart and always want to ask them to clarify the label; be specific, what exactly makes them smart?

I think a lot of people have smart MOMENTS. They APPEAR smart on the surface, but when you take away their self-imposed script, when you remove their talking points, they really don’t know what they’re talking about at all.

I think people make smart STATEMENTS, but when you ask them to clarify their arguments they choose to deflect the argument or answer questions with questions of their own – smart people answer questions because they CAN.

Once again, I think people, in general, are too willing to slap a smart label on someone without really checking to make sure they really know what they’re talking about.

Just look at the people in Congress right now. Listen to some of the stupid things they say, with a straight face, and who have no clue that what they said made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

What alarms me even more is that people don’t even RECOGNIZE that what was said didn’t make sense – they simply nod their heads in dumb agreement and accept it as fact.

And I’m talking about everyone, not just a certain party who shall remain nameless (but starts with a “D” and has the word DEMO in it).

My motto? ALWAYS QUESTION AUTHORITY. Don’t just take what someone says at face value, dig a little, educate yourself on both sides of the issue and then make your own informed decision on who is right and who is completely out of their mind.

What to know how I define a smart person? (Too bad, it’s my blog – neener, neener):

Someone who is educated, has common sense, is willing to ask questions and then listen to the answers, who has a strong emotional base and who controls his/her emotions and does not cave to emotional bias before coming to a conclusion and someone who can empathize with a person or situation without allowing that empathy to sway the outcome of the problem.

To me, being smart means balancing all of the above. I realize that’s a tall order, but it’s not impossible.

A smart person has the ability to look at all sides of an issue and then come to a rational, and logical, conclusion. Sometimes those conclusions are not popular, but they are sincere and often times right.

I think smart people have the ability to distance themselves from the issue at hand in order to give themselves a chance to look at the situation with an impartial eye. Smart people are not afraid of humility and have the strength of character to admit when they are wrong. Smart people are emotionally mature.

Smart people do not resort to name calling and insults during a debate or automatically assume that if someone disagrees with them, they are “trolls.”

Merriam Webster defines smart as:

mentally alert, bright, knowledgeable, shrewd

I think being “smart” actually means so much more.