by Cole B.:
All throughout history, mankind has seen countless people of magnificent intellect. Even the most intelligent person cannot say that they have never wanted to be “smarter”. But what really is “smart”?
Concluded from my own personal experience at the wonderful Jefferson Middle School, “smart” is a variety of things, each one completely dependent on the perception of the beholder. But there are several questions to be asked about “smart”.
Is “smart” knowing all the answers?
Is it having good grades?
How about having realistic views on the world?
Having unique and realistic philosophies?
What about having good morals?
The list goes on, constantly failing to be clearly defined for a constant period of time.
Personally, I believe that “smart” is not one thing or another for very long because, as does everything, times change, and so does the way the people perceive things. What is considered brilliant at one point in time might be considered average intelligence at a later date.
From my own firsthand experience, “smart” appears to be, as generally misconstrued by the school population. Knowing all the answers, studying, and having good grades causes others to see you as “smart”. One might argue that “smart” is simply being intellectually advanced or superior, but how does that make somebody smart? Just because somebody knows more than you do, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are smarter than you are.
This raises another question: How is intelligence classified? Traditionally we classify intelligence with an I.Q., but that is just a number. How are we supposed to really know how smart somebody is? Usually, intelligence correlates with the I.Q. number of a specific person. But if somebody of average intelligence does well in an average class, does that mean that they are “smart”?
In my opinion, the answer really depends on whom it is being asked. Somebody who is less intelligent than the person might say that he or she was “smart” because they did well in the class. Somebody who is as intelligent as said person might feel that they did an average job, and that to know that was of average intelligence. Somebody of greater intelligence than said person may feel that the person is not “smart”, but simply did well in the class. So the intelligence of a person, as perceived by onlookers, is dependant on the intelligence of said onlookers.
Being considered “smart” is not always a good thing. Unfortunately, quite a large number of intelligent people are outcast from the mainstream group of people who are considered “popular” or “cool”. They have been classified as many different things over the years, such as geeks and nerds. But why would anybody make a derogatory comment or remark about somebody’s intelligence?
Perhaps because they feel that their own intelligence has been threatened, or maybe because they feel like being smart is something to be ashamed of. Maybe they even make such comments and remarks because deep down inside, they too want to be considered smart or intelligent, so they make said remarks in a futile attempt to degrade and erode the “smart” people’s ego or confidence.
There are endless possibilities for why anybody would make such a remark.
So what really is defined as “smart”? In my opinion, whether or not somebody is “smart” is almost completely dependent on the onlooker. “Smart” may never be clearly and permanently defined, but is rather unknowable, if you know what I mean.