When I was a kid, I felt dumb all the time. I was far behind the other kids in elementary education, even though in the same grade. That was when they started moving kids along even if they fell behind. I was embarrassed of myself, and my handwriting, my poor spelling- okay, truth be told, I couldn’t spell worth shit, and I had an even harder time doing basic math. On top of that I kept to myself, I was quiet, and got into fights a lot. I honestly thought it was normal, until I got older and realized it wasn’t. Oh, and I was small- that didn’t stop me from whooping some ass, it just meant I felt inferior continuously. I hated talking to adults so much that I didn’t. That took a long time to work through. Oh, and did I mention we moved around a lot. So stable schooling wasn’t a real part of my life.
My reaction to being uneducated was to read the dictionary. I couldn’t spell worth a shit, but I could use big words. And in the moment of using them, I felt I wasn’t being looked at like I was dumb. It was my coping mechanism- it was my way of being smart without having to figure out the system, without having to actually learn to do the work. I was doing my best to get by.
Expanding my vocabulary gave me two things, words so I wouldn’t get frustrated trying to express myself and a better understanding of the world.
Those two things have helped me out a lot in life, but more than that, having an ever expanding vocabulary lets me understand the world and the people in it better. The more I read, the more insights and thoughts I come across that enlighten me to what is happening. When I learn a new word, it unlocks an entire thought process and if the word is big enough encompasses a whole system of thought.
But there does come a time to learn to do the work.
There comes a time when you need to learn the system.
There comes a time when knowing the basic mechanics of a thing and being able to build on those foundations is paramount. We live in a time when people don’t understand the fundamentals of a subject and give their opinion on it as if it matters. They want to appear intelligent and thoughtful, but they miss the mark because they haven’t done the real work to understand the foundations. They are too used to being YouTube educated instead of being thoughtful and discerning. They think following the rabbit holes of conspiracies is digging for the truth. They are handed a syllabus of thoughts and do not know how to logically push back. They believe because they do not think. They believe because they close their minds to hard truths. Truths that wreck their fucking minds, truths that require them to think differently. Truths that do not end with them being the hero.
I have a rebellious streak and I do not believe or do what I am told. I think and I am able to change my mind. I am able to go through the wringer of intellectual pain and moral depression to get to what I think might be the truth. Being a dropout for me destroyed the school system’s ability to get me to fall in line. I dissent- it is a way of life for me- It is my way. I don’t mind hearing bullshit but don’t expect me to believe it.