Stupid. Even the sound of the word, calls it just as it is. Stu-pid. Of course, we all know it by its definition. Foolish. Ignorant. Thick. Vapid. There are so many synonyms for the word, you can pick any letter and run with it. Dull, dozy, dopey, dense, and doltish.
Typically, I don’t like to use the word, because it seems so callous, and cruel. It is, one of the ultimate insults. When we’ve called someone stupid, we’ve put them at the bottom of the mental food chain.
But. Unfortunately. The old saying seems to hold true here. “If the shoe fits…”
Or, as the very wise Forrest Gump reminds us, again, and again. “Stupid is, as stupid does.”
Sometimes I am amazed at the magnitude of human stupidity in the world. But, reading the headlines each day, reiterates the proof. Take the latest “challenge.”
Two sidebars here. The first is more of a disclaimer. I have done some very stupid things in my life. In fact, a lot of days, you will hear me telling myself, “Gawd Kronenberger, you are such a Dumb%ss. “ Most of my stupidity burdened me in my youth. These days, my forgetfulness, or distractedness, are more the culprits.
The second sidebar. The “Challenges” of this day and age. Historically, “Challenges” have been pretty stupid in nature. Most of the time, a challenge happened in the way of a sword or pistol duel, which resulted in one of the two parties, coming out on the other side of dead. But these days, there are “Social Media Challenges” in the flavor of the week. And the whole lot of them are stupid. If we want to “support a cause,” simply donate money to the said cause. We really don’t need to throw ice on our heads, or paint our faces blue, or eat hot peppers. Just give the nice people $100. There’s a real test for us. However, most of the challenges are simply popularity stunts.
But. Back to the topic at hand. The news this week. People are injuring themselves, their children, and lots of others, by doing the new “Bird Box Challenge.”
In case you missed it, there is a new Horror Movie on Netflix called Bird Box. It isn’t getting very good reviews. In fact, it is a pretty bad movie overall, I’m told. Regardless. The premise goes that mysterious creatures drive people to kill themselves. Their greatest fears are induced and they end it all. Apparently though, if you don’t see the monster, it can’t hurt you. So. Survivors try to stay alive by locking themselves indoors with all the windows covered. And. They wear blindfolds when venturing outside. And they bump into a lot of things. And fall down, and such.
This has sparked a weird viral challenge. Social media users are posting photos and videos of themselves wearing blindfolds, and walking, running, and driving around like idiots. Stupid.
The thing is, lots of people are getting hurt. And it is only a matter of time, until someone kills themself, or ends the life of some innocent bystander.
And then, the real monster has been manifested.
People get hurt when people do stupid things. I could cite some very good examples of this concerning our current government shutdown, but I won’t get walled into that discussion.
The point is this. We need to think. Not just about ourselves, in the minute. But to consider things beyond. I mentioned the “trend” of mindfulness a few days ago. Awareness. Sensibility. To be conscious, alert, chary. And now, I think, mindfulness may very well be the true opposite of stupidity.
The world needs us to look around. It needs us to stop and notice. As a human race, we need to truly slow down and give consideration. Not only to what we are doing, but also to the greater scheme of things. Now there is a challenge.
“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
― Bertrand Russell
“Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew
“Ethan Wyeth: I hope you’re thirsty.”
Ethan: “Cause your dumb and ugly, but I can do something about thirsty.”
― Orson Scott Card