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"What if authenticity was the coin of this realm …?"

I hold beliefs that make no logical sense. I have no clear sense of what constitutes logical sense. I am easily confused. I can't tell you how anything works. I'm often surprised. I make mistakes multiple times each day. I cannot seem to write legibly. I cannot sort laundry in a way that satisfies The Muse, who holds a laundry sorting algorithm which she cannot coherently explain. I have relatives who believe that the earth is no more than a few thousand years old. I do not 'know' how to write, type, or read, though I write, type, and read every day. I once scored well on an IQ test without knowing for sure what most of the correct answers were. I can only barely pass a driver's license test, but I fancy myself to be a good driver.

I'm always with stupid. I am an extremely mobile universal stupidity machine.
I believe it unlikely that anyone is very smart. I suspect that everyone experiences the world I experience and so constantly wrestle with imposter syndrome, hoping others won't notice too much. I've witnessed very smart people agree to incredibly stupid things. I figure that knowledge is an inadequate remedy for native stupidity. Perhaps it's human nature to sometimes do stupid things. It's a wonder that anyone manages to maintain even a halfway positive self esteem, or self esteem at all. Maybe forgiveness is the universal solvent.

Humans seem endlessly curious, a condition that rather reinforces my notion that we're not nearly as smart as we often project. We seem to know a little about a lot and a lot about very little. We easily imprint on anecdotes before touting them as somehow universal. We do the same things, expecting different results, but more troubling, we do different things expecting breakthrough results. We live patterned existences, replicating locally successful actions as well as the errors we complain about. We are complicit but feel innocent. We work hard to become successful then wonder what that success means. We adopt stories that reinforce our prejudices and reject those that challenge them. We produce hypocrisy more efficiently than a modernized rolling mill produces sheet steel, but don't seem to notice.

I tire of the controversy. Who's stupid and who's not? I suppose the logical response might be that we're all stupid in our own way. We believe we can discern the dividing line between problematic stupidities and the more benign kinds. We chuckle conspiratorially when reading about the latest Darwin Award winner without suspecting that we might be up for at least an honorable mention in the Miss Congeniality category. I am not trying to rid the world of stupidity, just trying to honorably cope with my own and others'. I'm learning to acknowledge that my finger points too easily. I'm learning that stupidity, my own and everyone else's, might not matter much. We seem too evenly matched, the village idiot and I, to make much of a competition.

I wonder how it would be if everyone freely admitted their stupidity rather than worked so damned hard to hide it. Would lovers still live happily ever after if each partner disclosed their secret shortcomings? Would traffic improve if stupidity was no longer an exclusive property of other drivers? Could families stay together without their unspoken stories? Could business thrive on a diet of shameless self disclosure? Could politicians admit their foibles and still win reelection? Could religion thrive by telling the unsettling truth about itself? What if authenticity was the coin of this realm and everyone was born wealthy beyond their meager imagination?

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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