Saturday, May 08, 2004

My Stupidity

My Stupidity

I always cringe whenever someone calls someone else "stupid". Declaring someone as stupid is to indirectly say that we ourselves are smart.

Not that there's anything wrong in blowing our own horn; If we are eager to praise ourselves, we can do so without disparaging other people. Furthermore, smartness and stupidity are relative things--there are always other people who are smarter than us. In other words, all of us are "stupid" relative to someone else.

If I find someone acting in a way that is seemingly unwise, I would rather say that his or her action is "strange". "Stupid" sounds so final and certain, whereas "strange" implies that we haven't fully understood why a person acted or behaved in the way he did and there's an opportunity for us to learn something from it.

Sometimes simply calling someone else as stupid betrays our own ignorance. We probably did not bother to understand the situation or circumstances that prompted the person to act in such a "stupid" manner.

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and I have never met anyone whom I can confidently label as "stupid". Perhaps that's a reflection of my own stupidity?