I came across an article title the other day that almost screamed for me to read the article. I couldn’t avoid it. I looked at it. Ignored it. Went back to it. Ignored it some more, and then finally caved and read it. This article, “Bonhoeffer’s “theory of stupidity”: We have more to fear from stupid people than evil ones” ended up making some great points, but it also confirmed what I have been thinking for a long while. I tried to avoid the confirmation bias, but the author is of like mind I guess.
Like I said, I didn’t want to read it. I already know the power of stupidity. I was a high school history teacher so I saw, heard, and witnessed it on a daily basis. But, for the most part, those days were silly and harmless and easily laughed off as adolescence doing and saying adolescent things.
The problem is now I am not in a classroom and in the “real” world of people, where the adults are supposed to be rational, logical, and somewhat levelheaded. Instead, what I see is a place that is really scary because the number of stupid people has grown exponentially over the last decade or so. Those students that were stupid in my classroom have gown up and they haven’t grown out of their stupidity.
Now they tout their stupidity like it’s a badge of honor. Now they are adults, spouting stupidity like a fountain in Vegas and haranging people who don’t fall in line with their stupidity because they are now self-appointed culture and social justice warriors. Their numbers grow and grow and grow because now they can use their social media channels the “cancel” those whom they can’t have an actual, rational discussion with.
One or two stupid persons is easy enough to deal with, but when they become a mob not so much. One or two stupid persons are easy enough to avoid but when they are members of your family it becomes a challenge to tolerate spending time with them. As a whole, it is getting harder and harder to exist in a society where stupidity now seems to rule the day. You can’t avoid them at home, at work, in your social circles, in your government, in your medical institutions, in your educational endeavors…the list just gets bigger and bigger.
I tried to influence those I taught so many years ago. I now fear (and see) that my efforts failed.
So, how do we get our society back? How do we recue the nation from the stupid people who now exist in every facet of our daily lives and, unfortunately, even control it?
Share your thoughts. Share an experience with a stupid person that left you shaking your head. Share an experience with a stupid person that left you in dispare for the future. Share a thought on what can or should be done to fix this menace to society/humankind.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say.