Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Articles → Smart people don’t think others are stupid

The woman seemed to be making some pretty good points, until she stopped with, “Ugh! Those (people she disagrees with) are just so stupid!!”

She could have said Southerners, Northerners, Republicans, Democrats, Indians, or Americans. It doesn’t matter. She had just proven that she wasn’t being smart.

There are no smart people or stupid people, just people being smart or being stupid.

Being smart means thinking things through. It means trying to find the real answer, not the easiest answer.

Being stupid means avoiding thinking by jumping to conclusions. Jumping to a conclusion is like quitting a game : you lose by default.

That’s why saying “I don’t know” is usually smart, because it’s refusing to jump to a conclusion.

So when someone says, “They are so stupid!” it means they’ve stopped thinking. They say it because it’s satisfying to jump to that conclusion.

So if you decide someone is stupid, it means you’re not thinking, which is not being smart.

Therefore: Smart people don’t think others are stupid.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/6449796821/