Tyler Has Words is the blog of Tyler Patrick Wood, a writer/musician from Texas. You'll get free book excerpts twice a week. On the other days, you'll get words. If you would like an original take on everything by an expert on nothing, this might be a cool place to hang out.

About Three Kinds of Smart

About Three Kinds of Smart

Post 596:

            I have a theory that’s probably completely unoriginal, that there are three types of smart. Why even have a theory? Well, people say “smart” to describe others all the time. Normal people are probably content and move on when hearing this everyday adjective, but I’m a lunatic and therefore have to dive a little deeper. Here are my three types. Keep in mind, these are rough sketches. The types totally can and do bleed into each other. Unless we’re talking about idiots. Idiots don’t need to really worry about this ramble.

1.     Wit: We all know witty people. They’re generally great to be around. Always up for a spot-on observation, a good joke from left field. The kind of person that can reference a movie line without thinking in order to tie it into whatever conversation you’re having. Wit is made for the moment and is usually associated with a good sense of humor, but not always. I get the sense that wit is half innate and half learned. Another theory utterly unsubstantiated by charts and graphs.

2.     Wise: Ah, the wise. Wisdom is obviously something one attains over time, though some are naturals. We’ve all heard the expression, “wise beyond their years.” It’s the ability and willingness to learn from mistakes and successes, relationships and experiences of all kinds. Common sense is its own thing, but probably best put into this category. They say live and learn. Well, some do, some don’t. The ones that don’t are pathetic and inept and probably have two Teslas and run a Fortune 500 company. The ones that do are wise. They have a reserve of smarts, something to draw upon whenever needed. The sharpness of the witty isn’t requisite for the wise, but a lot of people have both. Those few. Those lucky few. (Shakespeare knock off)

3.     Intelligent: It’s sort of a dry descriptor, and that’s probably appropriate. Raw intelligence might be associated with school, memorization, math and critical thinking. It’s not sexy, but the intelligence I’m outlining is probably the most useful kind of smart a normal person can have in the day to day. Intelligence will help if you’re test-taking, learning a new skill for the job, or making quick work of some mechanical quagmire that’s been plaguing the family car. (I just said family car, a term not used since the 1970s)

            Why does it even matter? I was talking to somebody who took an IQ test a couple weeks ago, and they did really well. Let’s just say I was awash with incredulity and leave it at that. Or how about Mensa? There’s something to it, I suppose, but I know three current members. A couple of them couldn’t make a point if it was handed to them on a notecard, and the other has the common sense of a four-year-old with bad parenting.

            I bring it up because I’m thinking of designing my own stupid test to see how smart people are, and I want it to be as comprehensive as possible.

            Of course, I’m not really designing anything. It was just something I was thinking about, and lacking the wit, wisdom and intelligence to choose a better use of my time, I stuck with it.

            What’s best about my categories? They’re good for anyone to ruminate on. Say people have been calling you smart your whole life and that’s how you see yourself. Well, now you can feel deficient in certain areas and stop strutting around so much. I didn’t want to say anything, but it’s getting a little tedious.

            Other side of the coin, maybe experience has taught you you’re not the brightest bulb. Trust me, I can relate. But good news. Maybe life’s turds have given you some wisdom waiting to be unleashed upon the world. That sounded weird, but I know what I’m talking about. I think. Could be your intelligence is very specific and you just haven’t had the good fortune to happen upon the key that opens the lock. Keep trying crap out. That’d be the smart choice.

            All said and done, we all have a unique combination of smarts that can be useful and make us rock out.

            They say it’s better to be lucky than smart. I disagree wholeheartedly for the purposes of this rant.

            But seriously, if you’re lucky, just go with that. Smarts? Eh, I could take em or leave em.

            Cheers you bloody geniuses. God bless and see you after.

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