Wednesday, August 31, 2005



You know, I think part of the reason why it has been hard for me to write this post is because I'm afraid I will come across as a whiner, or a braggart, or even both. I don't think I have ever even discussed this with anyone, even inside my family circle. As I strive to my apex I have acknowledged that intelligence is an area of human performance that I hope to work on and improve, along with my spirituality and physical well-being. What has taken me 42 years to realize though, is intelligence is a mite over-rated.

You see, I'm a smart guy that comes from a really fantastic gene pool of other smart folks. I have smart parents, smart brothers and sisters, smart uncles and aunts - and I have smart kids. On the subject of nature vs. nurture in the area of intelligence I can speak from experience there is an undeniable genetic component that in turn forms and affects the amazing environment I grew up in.

I always had access to great books on a wide variety of topics. My mom and dad are both voracious readers (yes Mom, I know you're still reading up there when you're not busy being the family guardian angel). My Dad's recliner was and I imagine still is surrounded by a mound of magazines, books and newspapers in various stages of being read. My parents would always sacrifice their time and resources to allow their children to try and experience new things - when I sleepily stumble to the car to bring my daughter to an early morning swim practice or pick up a son from football practice I am humbled when I remember my Dad driving me to Skowhegan for drum lessons - 45 minutes driving, and who knows what the poor guy did while I took my lesson, egocentric teenagers rarely ponder those questions and it takes time and distance to fully appreciate the sacrifice.

So, I'm a smart guy, through a combination of good genetics and good upbringing. How smart? Well, when I was a younger man and that sort of thing mattered to me, I was tested and re-tested at different times and within a point or two I would score between a 146 and 148 on IQ tests, comfortably in the top 1% for folks that follow that kind of thing. See, there's the potential braggart factor. On my next post, I'll discuss what intelligence means to me (that will be the whinny part). As I said, intelligence is over-rated.

I am still not sold on this one. Intelligence opens the door to many opportunities that many do not have. It also opens employment which provides better living standard if the person chooses to go that path. Those who struggle through school are marred by the feeling of failure and frustration. This often follows them through life.
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