100% of the people think that they are above average intelligence. Think about that for a minute if you’re of a mind.
I asked around and discovered that no one will admit to being below average, nor even average. Someone is kidding themselves at best, and fooling themselves at worst. Which do you think is more likely?
I once heard a person admit that he was not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he still likely thought he was above average. Just where, then, does this leave the average, since everyone is above it? If the average (and median in this case) IQ is 100 as we are told, then half the people are 100 or below. The other half are 100 and above. While it is easy for me to identify folks I think are far below the 100, you’ll be hard pressed to find one who will own up to it.
Is the world like the children in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegon? Everyone above average? It may be possible for all the children of Lake Woebegon to be above the world’s average, but each individual person in the sum total of intelligent or otherwise people seem to think below average applies only to others. Where do they think the average comes in to play?
I’m certainly one of the mass of humanity that is of above average intelligence, and if you ask me I’ll tell you so. That gives me lots of company, since I have this in common with everyone, other than some I have recently observed, both in real time and through the miracle of social media. You are no doubt also above average intelligence, too. If anyone is not, will they please speak up? You can leave a comment here so I can get back to you.
One can think one’s self stupid when grasping at understanding Quantum Theory, or even harder, in understanding the quest for a Unified Theory, but stupid at that level can still be far above average. And a cowboy can think the smartest person is stupid when he sees them trying to ride a horse for the first time. That’s not necessarily stupid though it can indeed appear so. Even the smartest person can do a stupid thing, but it is unlikely that stupid things can be consistently repeated without some actual stupidity being involved.
I’m not even talking about stupid, though. I’m talking about average. No one even admits to average intelligence, firmly placing themselves in the above category. Everyone admits that the lower half actually exists, but I reckon some have a very low opinion of the lower half by virtue of having placed themselves in the upper, though I daresay that doesn’t shine any bright light on the upper half, either.
I’m pretty sure that nearly everyone has lower than average intelligence, except you and me. We’re definitely above average, though our admitting that makes us just like everyone else. There are lots of confusing statistics on intelligence, nearly all of them coming from scholarly studies done by people who are doubtlessly above average. I haven’t bothered to consult any of them, as there is no need to since one does not need the benefit of a scholarly study to know that it is not possible for everyone to be above average. Even if the average is skewed to far higher, the average is still the average, and you’d think that some would readily admit that their place among the stats place them solidly below it. But where are they? Are they loading sacks of corn down at the local feed store? Nope. I asked everyone I could find there one day, and they all are above average, with some being right smart according to their own admission. Maybe the corn loaders at your local feed store are below average, but none of them are at mine.
“Bubba,” I asked as he managed to successfully rip a hole in the corn sack he was loading onto my pickup truck last Saturday, “Would you say you are above average or below average intelligence?”
“What kind of question is that to spring on someone you don’t know clear out of the blue?” Bubba asked me back. “And what do you say?” I quickly decided that having parried my thrust so effectively Bubba was indeed above average, but then again he thought so, too, and told me so, adding, “I’m right smart. But there’s no need to ask Euliss and Odie ’cause I can tell you they ain’t.”
As I watched the corn dribble out of the hole in my sack, I asked, “What makes you say so?”
“You can just tell,” he replied with an air as if to say that was the end of the matter. I asked Euliss and Odie anyway, and was smart enough to do so without bothering to tell them what Bubba had said. While they had no effective rejoinder to such an impertinent question, they admitted to being above average, too. That was not surprising to me.
I think Bubba is right about that. I can just tell. I’ll bet you can, too. And in our telling, neither one of us says that everyone is above average. We know better. We just know we are; or, at least I know that I am. You?
Maybe I’m just not smart enough to understand it all. That is a startling admission coming from one who’s above average.
This post may be below average in substance, but it excels in vanity.
©2021 Mississippi Chris Sharp