“PASS!” I whispered to my husband. It was an acronym we came up together to denote stupidity, when we thought someone was doing something beyond our imagination, stupid.
Stupid is subjective. From my angle, I find someone stupid when I expect them to have a better sense of judgment given their education, experience, exposure to the world etc.
I find those who wear red because fashion magazines deem them trendy, stupid. I find mothers who tell their 6-month-old baby to share his toys, stupid, because at that age, babies are incapable of understanding that concept, they are still struggling with the pincer grasp. I find people who subscribe to majority opinions during political debates and issues without an understanding of the law, stupid. I find people who write the way other people tell them to, stupid.
I wonder why people do not seek answers for themselves, why they do not research the topic and come up with their own viewpoints, why they follow the herd… What happened to independent thought and critical thinking?
One calligraphy lesson, my Teacher and I were discussing how Confucius was a wise and empathetic teacher in the way he illustrates the same principles in different ways to cater for his audience. The idea was to do the appropriate thing at the appropriate time in the appropriate way, depending on whether his students then were farmers or scholars or seamstresses. My Teacher said, it was not about imposing yourself on others.
I chuckled, and told him, “Well, I think people are stupid – and that is me imposing myself on them – so I am not very empathetic or wise yet.” He smiled and said nothing. In my consulting work, I come across clients who expect everyone else to change but themselves, and I wonder why they were so stupid not to see that the crux of all their complaints, were themselves. Yet, in doing so, I was imposing my observations and analyses on them.
In my course, we learned about “meeting people where they are”, and my job as a consultant was to apprehend where my counterparts are in terms of thoughts, emotions, anxiety, visions etc., and guide them accordingly from the organizational level.
Such is my predicament, for I do not lack thoughts such as “you should,” “ he should,” “they should.” And my superiority complex convinces me that I know better – my husband detests this mode and my self-righteousness.
Another aspect of me I need to be aware of – Snobbie bear would take pity on me.
Trust me, people are stupid.