In this day and age, I've always wondered why intelligence wasn't held in a higher regard. When I was growing up, in school, the smarter kids were looked at as nerdy. Studying was for squares and the class clowns were the popular ones. In today's society, we often focus on appearance and wealth as top factors of success. Teachers and educators make significantly less than a more glamorized profession such as modeling. It just seems as though education isn't something people generally aspire to acquire. I admit that even I often fall into the overwhelming propaganda of popularity associated with traits other than intelligence. There is quite a social stigma surrounding the differences between average intellectual acceptability and those with a higher IQ. How then can we make intelligence more desirable?
Where do I even begin on such a vast topic? I suppose I'll start with the typical standards for knowledge in America. We are raised to go to school generally from the ripe ole age of 5 years old. Every single year after that, we go to school until about 18. This is where most of us get our general education about a number of basic subjects, but it's often only just that, the basics. Merely getting a "C" was passing. As a kid, whenever I was forced to do something, it made me not really wanna do it at all. Is this why we were so aginst learning back then? After finishing the schooling we HAD to, we got to choose whether or not we wanted to continue on in college. I'm not sure about you, but when I hear the phrase "college experience", I think frat parties, homecomings, football games, lots of underage drinking and sexual experimentation. It's a blur of adolescence breaking through ceilings of adulthood. Nobody really knows what the heck they're doing, and it's probably the most difficult time to focus on learning if you ask me. For those who do go on to get a degree, they use the said degree to immediately get a job (probably because of all the debt that has been acquired). After that, most of us have no desire to learn anything else. Why should we? What's the incentive? We are often too busy with our lives to just learn something for the sake of learning.
In America, the average IQ score is 98. The top 5 countries with the highest average IQ scores are all in Asia. The lowest 40 are all in Africa and the Caribbean. Asian countries tend to have a much longer school year than other countries for one. I wonder if they have much of a nerd stigma over there as well. On the flip side, many African countries don't even have formal schooling for all citizens. According to UNESDOC, in the 2000s, only 57% of African children were enrolled in primary schools. They face many challenges in education reform due to language barriers ( most schooling in Africa takes places in languages that teachers and pupils do not speak natively), lack of proper facilities and educators, military budget, and conflict, just to name a few! This is why perspective is such a crazy thing. Imagine wanting to learn, yet not having the proper means to do so. We take so much for granted here in the states! We have access to this vast information superhighway known as the internet. We have the privilege to be able to read any book we choose but do we? Our brains have an enormous capacity for knowledge, but we seem to be complacent in knowing only what we need to know to survive and nothing more.
I believe that in this life, we should never stop striving to educate ourselves on a wide variety of subject matter as well as national and global issues. More importantly, we should help to spread the importance of knowledge being so much more than just a way to get a job and make money. Don't get me wrong, intelligence can often lead to wealthy, however, if we just do everything for money, it becomes our primary power source. If that power source is taken away for any reason, our battery drains and eventually dies out. That's just a bit too risky for me. I want to use and expand my brain as much as I possibly can. I want to share all of the things I learn with everyone as well. We can all become teachers in our own regard. I'd like to think that I'm already a fairly smart individual, but by no means does that insist I will ever stop seeking mastery. A man who knows something knows that he knows nothing at all. Imagine how great a world this would be if we all took the time to learn as much as we possibly could? Our comprehension, understanding, and overall communication with one another would skyrocket to new levels. Doesn't that sound much better than a world overrun with beautiful vapid shells? We ALL have unlimited capabilities for brilliance. Let's start living like it! Let me know your thoughts fellow geniuses!
P.s. Did I mention that there are a number of FREE courses that are available online? You don't even have to pay to get a higher education anymore. The internet is truly amazing sometimes. I'm currently taking 3 online classes right now (Mandarin, Entrepreneurship, and Intro to Psychological Research methods).
P.p.s. Learning games are also one of my absolute favorite pastimes. There is a quiz I take pretty often where you have to name all of the countries of the world (with proper spelling) in 15 minutes or less. It's fun! And now I know all the countries! Also, there are many apps you can put on your phone to help keep your brain sharp. I like this one called Lumosity.
P.p.p.s. But seriously though, reading is probably the most fundamental of all. Read any and everything that you can! I believe it's the quickest and easiest way to learn. ( I hear that #bretonybookclub has quite a few nice choices to get you started.)