There Are No Idiots


Have you ever seen someone point at a Ford Bronco and say, “That’s a cool looking Jeep.”? Just because they think it’s a Jeep doesn’t make it a Jeep.

Just because you think someone is an “idiot” doesn’t make them an idiot. Plus, what happens to your abstract mental construct when the person you called an idiot gains a higher IQ score than you? Would you call yourself an idiot? And even if you did manage to call yourself that, would it be true? I’m here to tell you it’s not true. There are no idiots, only people in a different stage of growth, or level of learning from you.

The “abstract mental construct” I mentioned is that label, the tag. It creates a space inside the taggers brain—a convenient file for all the other people who are like the one identified. A shallow way to regard others, it requires no in-depth study of anyone. It doesn’t necessarily correlate with reality; that’s the abstract part. It’s not objective, as in, it can’t be verified by everyone in the universe. So, for instance, if you were playing with 5 year old Isaac Asimov on the playground, and he poured gravel in your shoes, and you called him an idiot, would everyone, or even a high majority of people agree with you? Or would they say that you’re the only one who thinks so?

Okay, maybe that was too agreeable. Many people love Isaac Asimov. Many people would even wish to have him pour a handful of gravel in their shoes. They would have saved that gravel their whole lives—and cherished it. Insert the name of someone less agreeable in the above paragraph, like say, Donald Trump, or Marshall Mathers. Did either one of these “idiots” know very much when they were 5 years old? You might even say that both are of the same intelligence as they were when they were 5; but if you said it, you’d know you were only trying to be funny, and that your argument didn’t carry any weight logically. They grew. They learned. They know more than they did when they were 5. We all grow. We all learn. Some learn slower than others. But if idiocy is so temporary, is it still a label you want to use? In a few short weeks, or even months, you could be proven wrong. You could be passed up on the scale of knowledge.

Next question: How does labeling someone an idiot help that person learn what you wished they knew?

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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