The Tridecadal Korean (astralblue) wrote,
The Tridecadal Korean

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Intellectual Ability vs. Intellectual Willingness

In the past, I thought I couldn't stand people who `don't just get it.'

I just figured out that I was wrong.

As some of you already know, I love teaching.  Teaching has always been something that I could not get bored of.  It was a daily habit in my childhood that I would go hours and hours on, repeating what I learned in school to my mother -- who was, and still is, an active and faithful listener <3 -- only to be stopped by running out of subjects. 

And being a teaching addict, I have helped out numerous people on their computer issues and problems, sometimes academic and sometimes practical.  Plus, along the path of explanation, I would also digress into auxiliary topics that I deemed helpful for them to know.  For example, when I was explaining how to solve a homework problem, I would delve into background theories and facts that I thought would be useful in understanding the nature of the problem better, even when the professor apparently didn't bother to go over them.  (I'm a bit of a perfectionist like that, and hey, I love teaching, so why not do it as well? *grin*)

Now, not all of my `students' had the same level of intelligence.  Some of them instantly (and sometimes almost preemptively) understood what I was explaining.  Others weren't as quick and I had to spend like hours to explain something, paraphrasing it in different ways that I thought were easier and more intuitive for them to understand, until they finally got it.

Then I realized this: Among those who `wouldn't just get it,' some were enthusiastic enough to explore with me and eventually find an understandable explanation, whereas others, after a few tries, just went `Hey, I think we could save some time if you could just show me how to solve the problem.'  And also among those who `would get it,' some were actually enthralled to see some new things that I presented them but their professor didn't, but others were just giving `Whatever, I know how to solve the problem now anyways' type of cold shoulders.

Now, what types of response would you say annoyed me the most?  Yes.  `Hey, let's just save some time' and `Whatever.'

Now, see the common factor between them?  Right, it's not about whether they are intelligent and smart enough to readily `get it,' but it's about their unwillingness.  In other words, regardless how smart they already were, they were not intellectually stimulated enough.  And that's what turned me off.

And that made me rethink about this one word of wisdom that you might have also heard from your parents or teachers: Always be around people better than you, supposedly because it helps you improve.

Now think about it -- is it a really good thing to do?  Think about the other way around: If you're with a better person, then from his point of view, he is with an inferior person -- that is, you.  If he believed in the same axiom that he ought to be around people better than himself, you're being unnecessary burden to him, and in fact, he might just ditch you for another person better than him.  Now, would you welcome that situation?  My answer is: Hell no.

To be honest, I've always thought I would prefer smarter people around myself.  I'm realizing how selfish and stupid that was.  And actually, I was even more stupid than just that -- I thought my ideal lady would be at least as smart and intelligent as I was.  This is now just fucking embarrassing -- because, hell, if she espoused the same belief, the day one of us gets more intelligent than the other is the doomsday for our relationship.  Yeah, a bit exaggerated, but you get the point.

So here's my revised axiom:

Always be around people more intelligent than you intellectually stimulated enough to stimulate you as well.


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