Sunday, August 23, 2009

INTELLIGENCE (being smart)

I want to start by appreciating all those who have been reading the blog thus far. Wow you guys just keep me going in such a wonderful way. I only realized how inspired you have made me this week; with all the personal decisions I have to undergo this week I still found time to express my thought on this blog, thank you again. I wanted to write about education, you know since we are all in the going-back to-school period but I figured education is too broad to touch but we will give some insights into it though.

Everyone is intelligent. I believe we all have our own versions of what intelligence is and please once again do not hesitate to share yours, thank you for reading mine though. With all the different definitions of what intelligence means, in this blog I am going to equate it to being smart. Aristotle, the great philosopher simplified intelligence into two versions of being smart; Phronesia (which I will equate today to being "street smart") and Sophia (which I will equate to being "book smart"). You see to me it all comes down to these two, whatever your education tell you it all comes down to being street-smart and book-smart. Our understanding of the two clearly makes things in our lives clearer. Aristotle equates Phronesia to one's ability to adapt in different circumstances and to him Sophia is the wisdom and understanding you achieve after learning how the world works. Hence to me being street smart is some sort of your natural intelligence and book smart is what you acquire in your pursuit of knowledge of things that you do not understand.

Being book smart is equally as important to being street smart. Being in college doesn't mean you are book smart just like being in the street will not make you street smart, these things are a MENTALITY, (inert quality), they are not base on your positions or environments nothing just your mentality. Am not an expert in these things but let me paint you some interposing scenarios; let's say take a street smart person in college, you know how they say 'don't work hard, work smart' same concept applies here, 'don't study hard (that’s what a book smart person will be doing), study smart. You have registered for classes to become an accountant in four years, a street smart person passes by the notice board and see an ad about a six week course to be certified as a QuickBooks (an accounting software) personnel, even though that wasn't in your class schedule for the semester you sign up for it because you know in the job market that will place you above the other applicants after graduating. A book smart person says why go to school I want to discover the world by myself, ends up in a drug lord’s world, 75% of the time he is the brain behind the bad guy's organization, you know those people you see in the movies that are always with the bad guys but the carry a laptop and wear lenses?

In Africa a man without a college degree is look on as a failure, it is a mentality that I strongly encourage because even though the US has shown me a billion alternatives to success, having a culture like that can never land you in the wrong place. My ideal person will be somebody who is 60% book smart and 40% street smart. But I envy those who are street smart because like Aristotle points out they can adapt to any situation (Phronesia). look either way being at the extreme of these two mentalities can never be a good thing, I will personally never dream of getting a PH.D because I feel like there is so much for me to acquire and learn out here in the world than to study one topic/subject to that extend, you end up in a lab somewhere anyways. I look at degrees, certificates, diplomas as tools of success not requirements of success, so therefore if there are tools it means you can use them or discard them, let us not treat them as sole means of success because ironically when you go after them that religiously is kind of the first step to your failure. And for those who can harness their ability to do other things do not go to school, especially my artistic people, those who draw and paint and design, I honestly believe that sitting in a class somewhere narrows your sphere of creativity, put your imagination at work and someday people will study your work in art classes worldwide!

I think when you are book smart it is easier to become street smart but it is harder to become book smart if you are street smart. Ultimately those who are the richest in our world today are looked on as the street smart guys, especially when you look at entertainers. You know some of you are going to crucify me on this but let us take a rapper like JAY-Z(my fav). Since he is a rapper you ultimately equate him to drugs, guns, gangs and girls but when you peruse his lyrics and see the things he comes up with in his lyrics and his life, I guarantee you will ultimately conclude this guy would have made a very smart student in any school, same thing with Lil Wayne. So my conclusion is you are better off pursuing a book smart path rather than a street smart one, because your street smart should already be IN YOU; you cannot learn street smart but hey, you can learn book smart while not go after that one?


Please to all my students out there if you want to do well in your studies concentrate on understanding the material rather than how to make an A, you know like going through all the past questions and what not. You might make the A now but later you will not be able to hold a job in your field because you lack the understanding of what it takes to do your job. Please study smart and I wish everyone the best this school year. YOU ARE ALL VERY INTELLIGENT.

6 comments:

peace said...

that was very impressive.you touched it in all directions.but i will like to add that, people should not just be buried to a particular field and forget their other potentials.i think an intelligent person has a widerscope of reasoning and is ready at all times to explore and learn new things.that is why today you will find people doing multiple jobs or things.like for example you find somebody in the medical field,working as a realestate agent during his/her private time or some other forms of businesses or arts and so on.knowing the material really helps, then you can apply it at your various work places.wow that was educative.your sound track is kinda breaking up.

claire said...

i agree with you Aben. you have to learn smart not hard. The biggest tool for being smart to me is MOTIVATION. inorder to bring out your street or book smartness you need to have a Driving force that keeps you wanting to achieve more. Without that, you become that looser who sits at home or in the streets feeling sorry for themselvs. Everybody has the ability to be book or street smart. you just got to find that drive.
peace LAMA.

A. Lewis said...

This was very well put together. I like your aspect on "Geting Smart" as you put it. The part I have to say that stuck out to me the most was the part where you said, "In Africa a man without a college degree is look on as a failure," this is something that all men, but mostly black men need to recognize and take account for so that they may be able to progress by understanding their roots.

Continue to pass on the knowlegde.
Be Blessed

Awung nkeza said...

Aben,I have always known that you had something in you that was special. This blog has got me thinking. It certainly is very inspirational and of course, I totally agree with you on this street-smart and book-smart stuff.

Anonymous said...

when i was in college, i did just that, studie smart, i stated to focus so much on materials that i get passionate with science and technology, at the exams, i fail.
yes i fail because i passed in science, maths and fail in history, geography, civic, english , french.
the year after i passed but with a C.
NOW I JUST GRADUATE FROM UNIVERSITY WITH A DISTINCTION IN BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE. WHILE WORKING AS A FORENSIC TECHNICIAN IN A POLICE LABORATORY.
AFTER SO MANY YEARS I ALWAYS BELIEVED I WASN'T SMART ENOUGH TO SOMEONE THE SOCIETY WILL CALL FOR HELP. HO NO I WAS WRONG. NOW I'M CALL AT 1 AM TO ASSIST AT INPORTANT CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION . AN THEY CALL ME SIR.
OH YES YOU ARE WRIGH THE MATERIAL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE GRADES...

Dusty said...

This is another good blog. I want to point out another type of intelligence that people seem to be lacking these days and that is common sense! I have street smarts and book smarts and it frustrates me to know end to have to deal with people who have NO sense, whatsoever! That's my mini-rant! Have a great day! :)

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