I will never be ashamed of my intelligence

Posted: November 27, 2013 in General
Tags: , , ,

This won’t come as a surprise for most of you, but there are people out there who actually look down on those who are smarter than them. It’s a sad fact of life that other human beings think negatively about a quality such as this that, frankly, should be celebrated.

But the truth is that a lot of people are intimidated by intelligence. They’re intimidated by people that are smarter than them, and the only way they can bring those people down to their level is by shaming them. They bully and mistreat those people until they believe that their intelligence is a curse rather than a gift.

This is why so many “nerds” end up on the bottom of the social ladder in high school. It’s definitely one of the reasons why I was.

But I refuse to be ashamed by my intelligence. I may not be a genius, but I’ve always been above average. I’m the lucky benefactor of good genes, excellent parents, and an inexplicable determination to do my best. Not to mention that I’ve just always liked learning.

It amazes me that there are still people out there — people that I know (and some that I’m related to) — who think of this as a bad thing. Of course, they’ve brainwashed themselves. It’s not a bad thing, no matter how you spin it (okay, I guess it’s a bad thing if you use your intelligence for evil and try to take over the world or something, but you know what I mean). But because these people don’t have what we have, they feel as if they need to make fun of us for it.

Nerd culture is growing in strength every single day, and I think more and more people are realizing that intelligence shouldn’t be covered up, and it isn’t something that you should be intimidated by. There are a lot of problems in this world, and although the shaming of intelligent people might not rank as high as others, it’s something that should be pointed out and corrected.

It’s unfortunate that bullying, even indirect, passive-aggressive bullying, never goes away, even when you get out of high school. But hopefully those who are on the receiving end of that gesture know to ignore it. Because intelligence is never something to be ashamed of.

Have you ever had to deal with this phenomenon? What did you do?

  1. lexborgia says:

    Those people you mention are affectionately called republican voters.

  2. Julie Glover says:

    I knew a guy in college who, in his mid-20s, was short, balding, and nerdy. He was getting his Ph.D. in astrophysics. He once said something like, “I’m not worried about being too nerdy to get a girl. When I graduate, I’ll be making a six-figure salary in no time, and I’ll have no problems finding women who want to date me then.” LOL. Talk about smart confidence! There’s something to be said for being uber-smart after all. 🙂

    • Karen Rought says:

      Although I never hope to attract a guy based on how much money I make, I’ve always believed in not settling or dumbing myself down for someone of the opposite sex (or for someone of the same sex, as far as friends go). You’re so much happier with your lot in life if you can be happy with yourself first.

  3. ddog13 says:

    I understand what you’re saying. I feel that some people that are very intellectual have trouble socially because they unintentionally make others feel inferior to them. Plus, how could one relate to somebody so smart? I’m not equating this to myself, I’m talking about people who are definitively and primarily intelligent. I think I’ve been at both ends in short periods, as being seen as nerdy and, currently, feeling animosity towards a very intelligent person. Props for making such a personal post.

    • Karen Rought says:

      Thanks. I think you’ve got it right there: intelligent people make others feel inferior. It’s not (always) on purpose, and it’s usually not even something the person is aware of. Some people respond to that intelligence with hostility, which I think is the saddest part of all. There’s so much room to learn and grow by surrounding yourself with people who are more intelligent than you. Why would you push them away by being a bully? I’ve never understood it.

  4. I agree. I think our society punishes people who are genuinely intelligent, and once someone’s self-esteem has been slammed down at school by Absolutely Everybody in the Universe Including the teacher (not to mention suffering one too many atomic wedgies at the hands of the school bully-gang) the desire to socialise goes away and doesn’t really recover in adult life. My own experiences at school were pretty dire…I made the mistake of being able to read, write, do arithmetic and so on before I got there. My bad.

    How did I deal with it? First off, I did stuff outside school – including entering a high school district science contest where I did a project on theoretical astrophysics and collapsars, aged 16. Very, very geeky. Then I became a writer, with all that this implies for needing a wide skill-set. I confess, I still have a great love for astrophysics…not because it’s meant to define ‘smart people’. but for the same reasons I always did – because it’s interesting.

    And my thought now? Smart people should shout it out. “We’re smart”. Without fear. With pride. Why? These days, looking around at computers, phones, tablets, apps and everything else that makes life happen for everybody, it’s pretty clear …geeks won. Muahahahahahaha!

    • Karen Rought says:

      Geeks HAVE won, and it’s an amazing thing to see. It’s something that I think has changed even from when I was in high school, which as you know, wasn’t that long ago — less than 10 years. Some of the world still denies we’ve won, but as technology progresses, I think everyone’s reliance on the intelligent is becoming more pronounced. And I’m definitely not complaining. It’s not anything we should ever be ashamed of, even if we’ve been taught to be for most of our childhoods.

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