Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is my Intelligence Quota of the Day

How do you define intelligence?

I was rummaging through some of my old things recently and I happened upon a series of notebooks where I had written poetry, thoughts, and reflections. They were actually very impressive - I haven't written really raw stuff like that in years. I also had a large collection of newspaper clippings (dating back almost 10 years) of stuff I was passionate (AKA angry) about.

And it made me start thinking about what "intelligence" really was. I would not have considered myself intelligent or enlightened as a teenager, but reflecting on the kinds of thoughts I put to paper and the things I cared about, I was a damn smart cookie.

We tend to dismiss young people and those amongst us seen as "uneducated" as somehow beneath our level of intelligence. Because at some point, some white guy defined intelligence as the ability to use the biggest words possible and understand language that only PhD students can wrangle with. If you're a math whiz, you're intelligent. If you need a calculator to do simple sums, you're dumb.

Well, I say screw that definition.

I'm going to use incorrect grammar and words that don't exist and still think I'm a brainer.

I'm going to finish my masters and still think I'm dumber than a doorknob.

I'm going to use a calculator to add 12 to 7 and still think I'm the smartest kid on the block.

I'm going to finish reading complicated texts cover to cover and still think bouncy balls and blowing bubbles is better.

Because intelligence isn't about what you can and can't do. Intelligence, to me, is a thought process. It's being courageous enough to believe in something and not back down from it unless you're proven to be wrong. Intelligence is knowing when to shut up. Intelligence is wisdom; and they can't be torn apart. Intelligence is recognizing God. Intelligence is being at peace with being different.

Entering a state of intelligence means you've realized you don't have to prove it to anyone.


sara said...

I love when you write posts about stuff I just need to read at this moment.

Sammy said...

You go, girl!

While I don't completely agree with your definition of intelligence, I have to say we grow up to be dumber than we were usually... and we grow dumber thinking we're actually getting smarter, making smarter choices... Sigh.

I don't know if you take requests but umm do you plan to put up the stuff you dug up, on your blog? :)

Asmaa said...

Sara, my pleasure. Don't give up ;)

Sammy (as in Sumayyah..?), I really don't think the world needs to be exposed to what I had to say as a teenager. Those things are better kept private :D

I agree with your assessment re: choices we make sometimes being dumber.

Sammy said...

Sammy as in Saima. Hi. :)

Asmaa said...

Hi, welcome :D just thought you were someone else.