A few days ago, I was talking with a regular reader of this website. She is always very encouraging in her feedback and motivates me to inflict, I mean, continue to share my ideas and stories with my readers. She asked me what I was working on and I related that I had nothing in mind at that moment. I then asked her if she had any ideas. She decided to challenge me with the following quote:
“I can take dumb but I can’t take stupid.”
I took that piece of bait and now I’m stuck with it. I thought about this “motto” for quite awhile and even confess to a loss of sleep over the matter. There are differences between the two, as I have discovered. One who is dumb is the person who is lacking in natural intelligence while the stupid of the world are those given to unintelligent decisions or acts. Mind you, the two words have several different meanings. Dumb has six different meanings and stupid has four. The latter trait occurs much more often in the world and no one knows why. I have not done an in-depth study of the occurrence of these traits among us so cannot of certainty say one way or the other. It does sound like something that would qualify for a government study grant though.
So, having defined dumb and stupid, it is left to me to decide whether I can tolerate one trait over another. It seems to me that one who is dumb is so from birth. He or she just lacks any smarts whatsoever and, therefore, cannot be faulted for their disadvantage. It is possible that a normal child could be rendered dumb by environment but that is a rarity. Dumb is just plain dumb and they should never be faulted for their natural lack of intelligence. Most folks found to be in this category have walking around sense and can usually find something to do with themselves that keeps them out of trouble.
Stupid is another story.
People learn to be stupid. They have sense but have made a choice not to use it. These are the folks that usually wind up in positions and jobs that makes one wonder about the future of the human race. I know far more stupid people than dumb and they are the more difficult of the two. Stupid people make stupid decisions that affect all of us. I know of one group of people who are notorious for attracting, developing, and employing stupid people (much to the anguish of a whole lot of people). They are a well-known bunch of cerebral misfits but, being as how I have a policy prohibiting putting the “bad mouth” on any living creature, I will refrain from naming them. They are just one example of many. There is a cure for stupid but it is rarely employed.
My friend’s assertion is correct. I can take dumb but I can’t take stupid.