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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Y R U So Hung Up On Being Smart?

Thus was my Facebook status earlier today.  The question is why I would write something that was pretty harmless, but could be taken the wrong way by certain people.  The answer is because I wanted to write this blog as an offshoot of that very status and train of thought.  I would not call that status a precursor necessarily, but what I said helped my brain start ticking a bit while I was covering fifteen miles of sidewalk and boardwalk on foot.  There you have it.

Nobody wants to be stupid, or at least I hope not.  I have gone on my tangents of opinion about self-education and the importance it holds in our development, so I am not going to repeat myself here, but give a different sort of perspective instead.  I said a few blogs ago (here) that I would not talk about religion or politics and that is still very much intact, even if you may beg to differ (that is your right).  I am going after all "religious" people, which is a demographic I somewhat belong to.  You can pick on your own demographic, right?  Who cares?  I am doing it anyway and if you are "spiritual" you may also fit into what I am about to say, so you are not safe either.  

*This isn't EVERYONE.  It's a thought-provoker and not a judgment, so cool off and if you are going to attack me, turn around now knowing that I am speaking about myself as much as anyone else who identifies.*

I think everyone has an internal want to have somewhat of a leg up on other people intellectually and for me, I find that more prominent when people have some set method of a belief system in their life.  Whatever makes you fulfilled as a person is fine with me, but I see some of us using it as a means to "one-up" other people, which I do believe is defeating the purpose, no matter what you believe.  You may not be entirely sure what I am talking about, but consider the people you see on social media, or even in speaking with them person who make a point of saying many words when few will do.  

A big part of me really wanted to do a screen grab of the following quotes, but for the sake of not making it obvious to people who actually know me, I will have enough respect to keep that refrained.  A few months ago, my friend put up a Facebook status of:
"The leading cause of death is living."
Which is true, funny, and brutally honest.  It was, however ruined by someone commenting this:
"I would go as far as to say living life without God causes death."
Awful verbage aside, reading that immediately made me say to myself:
"He ruined it because he thought he sounded smart."
To somewhat defend what he wrote, I understand that he is obviously a Christian (I am as well) and part of believing that means to spread your beliefs, but what person who does not hold Christian beliefs is going to read that and say:
"It all makes sense now!  He put it so profoundly and in a way I could actually understand!  Get me to a church, now!"?
No.  Just...No.
So, what was the purpose in him posting that?  It surely had nothing to do with spreading a message of faith to the world, but it had everything to do with him wanting to sound intelligent.  If I am wrong, I invite you to tell me and I will let you hold that opinion, though calling out internal motives behind the things people say is something I am very skilled at figuring out.

Those who claim other spiritual beliefs do the same thing and at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with wanting to spread spiritual joy or influence because most people can see right through the motive if they pay enough attention.  Had I wanted to sound like an intellectual and highly-spiritual being, I would have posted my status this morning as something like this:
"Basking in the transcendental beauty of nature and enjoying the rays of the sun peaking over the trees as the crisp, fall air floats delicately over the flowing stream while enjoying the wellness mother earth uses to heal us all."  
(Excuse me for just a moment, I need to puke.)
Now, some people would instantly put a "like" on that if they saw it on Facebook, though it would never fit on Twitter, so that is not an option for a re-tweet.  Some people would sit back and say: 
"Wow, he/she is so deep."
The way I see it though, is that something like the quote I made up above fits more readily into a book, a sonnet, poem, lyrical stanza, or something more formal than social media.  I guess, for me, my rule of thumb seems to be that if I think of a status update which would require as much editing as a chapter of my book in order to make it sound proper, I am trying much too hard.  

I was that person at one point in time, however.  There was a period of God knows how long when I would actually proof read and edit my potential status updates and tweets before posting them for the world to read - not giving it a once over before posting, but actually taking the time to add and move words around as a means of sounding more enlightened.  I learned by reading the ridiculous posts of other people that I was not all that different and probably had other engaged people who were naive enough to think I was smart; or sitting back, thinking I was a pretentious, disconnected moron.  After coming to that realization, I told myself anything I posted from that point forward went straight from my head, maybe checked once for punctuation and then posted.  No more of this editing to sound intelligent or posting anything with the intention of looking so.  I realized being quote-worthy is something that should come off the fly and that nothing I say spiritually or religiously online in such a short form is going to make anyone more or less intrigued by what I have to say whether I added any big words to it or not.  Maybe I have become too literal in my age and experience, but being thought-provoking is natural and unable to be forced, therefore, posting something punctuated and to the point seems to be better received than something which seems as if you are trying too hard.  

"But you shouldn't care what other people think."
If you really had no care for anyone else's approval, posting status updates and tweeting out things would not be an activity you took part in.  Think that over - those things are posted so people read them, specifically.  We can say we are not looking for approval, but that is what so much of our generation thrives on because (in my case) it is what those who pay attention to you ask for.  

All I am saying is that playing the intelligence game in or out of religious context holds a certain level of stupidity unmatched by others and I can see right through it.  If you post something profound and "enlightening" followed by the majority of other posts using words such as "dat", "u", and are unable to capitalize or punctuate even those short sentences, well, just think that one over for a minute.

I am not perfect, and I lived in the "I have to seem intelligent" world for a long time, just as I did with many other things I talk about on this blog.  I made a pact with myself because of that to stop writing anything which is not in line with the way I speak on a daily basis.  Believe it or not, excluding the lack of contractions in my writing (I was taught to not use those in formal text), the way you read this blog or anything I post online is pretty spot-on to my vernacular in everyday life.  

All I am saying is that we should be ourselves whether online or in-person without hiding behind a religious cloak of so-called "intelligence", nor a spiritual one, nor one made to influence our own ego.  

Just be yourself because there is no need to play the role of "the smart one", "the enlightened one", or "the deep one".  The world has enough people trying to be something they are not.  Instead, always push to figure out and expose the real person you are without trying to be anything you are not.

Whatever you do, though, for the love of all things you may find holy, use proper punctuation...
Give me that, at the very least.

Grace and Peace,
-Drew

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