How Do We Live With Those Who Are--stupid?
"Stupid," my sister and I yelled. The epithet was an expression of sibling rivalry. My mother or other adult shushed us. We behaved badly and were corrected. But times change and "stupid" takes on a different meaning and purpose. Reluctant to say out right that someone acts stupidly, I certainly can think the thought.
I differentiate stupid from below normal intelligence and uneducated. Stupid, to me, is foolish, knowing better but nonetheless selecting the unwise option.
Stupid in adult terms translates to driving too fast, running red lights, and leaving your doors unlocked. Or is this a wish to live dangerously? Recently, I felt stupid when I succumbed to a scam. The conman (or woman) disguised him/herself expertly, but I admit I trusted. Thankfully, I discovered the fraud before I lost money.
I acknowledge my cold-heartedness. Instead, I should continue to be compassionate towards the half of our country who are afraid and cannot think logically. But the faithful lose hope and patience. In today's perilous world with the diappearance of long-held values, a normal adult who ignores obviously dangerous behavior in an acquaintence or family member is stupid or irresponsible. An elected representative in our government who labels brutal anarchy as "normal political discourse" is plain stupid. A rose is a rose is a rose (Gertrude Stein) comes to mind. Shakespeare wrote the same sentiment--A rose by an other name would smell as sweet. If an action looks violent, it is.
Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results. The oft repeated strategy of "thoughts and prayers" and, recently, "mental health" in lieu of sensible gun regulations is insane. So why do these "2nd ammendment rights" proponents continue? Insane, stupid or callous? The person who does not wear a mask during a pandemic and/or refuses to be vaccinated to protect oneself, family, and strangers--are they stupid or selfish?
Stupid is as stupid does--high on my list would be a family (children included) posing with their own automatic weapons or enabling an alcoholic by giving him/her access to a full liquor cabinet. Very stupid is suggesting that teachers and students should be armed. So is supporting a tyrant in a democracy. If you want to live in an autocracy, there are plenty of countries to choose.
There is a choice. Should I yell, "stupid," write the text, send the email or side with my better self? Think the thought rather than act on the deed. For someone stupid, dangerous, irresponsible, violent, insane, callous, or selfish could shoot me.
©2022 Karen Levi