Smarts and Intelligence

Photo: Complimentary Medicine – Street Documentary Art Photograph Copyright 2014 Frank J Casella

Some people seem to be smart, as in intelligent, bright, or knowledgeable, and others not. What makes, or causes, the difference?

Someone asked how I come up with my topic for each blog post. Well, basically, I wake up in the morning and spend much quiet time, not to allow outside influences, and discern what is the most pressing thought or issue on my mind from the past week.

Today that happened to be about smarts. That is, I have come to realize how often people tell me how smart or intelligent I am. Or I find out others have said this about me. This troubles me a great deal, because I don’t believe anyone is really smart, it is just simply how we give to and treat others.

For example, in the business world I find many people make decisions based on how much providing their service or product costs them, or how much money they make from a business relationship.

The people who are smart understand by investing in these opportunities through what benefits others will always come back with more opportunity. Not always direct business, but sometimes referrals, or some other interaction.

It’s the basic principles of following what the Bible says about money, and the Ten Commandments, with a sprinkling of experiences and practicing integrity. Sometimes I’ve had to make business decisions that looked as if it, or I, was failing. But the decision was based on what most benefits others in the matter.

Sometimes months or years later I learn how my decisions like this really benefited others, other times I have confirmed how my decisions didn’t work at all, even though I had to struggle. And struggle is the key, because you don’t get wisdom without struggling through learning from experience.

Same goes for the struggle to develop the habits of reading the Bible daily, or seeking from a mentor and then taking action. Jesus struggled so that we could have Salvation, being submissive to God.

Books don’t make you smart, until it is how you give that knowledge to others that makes them see your wisdom. It’s not smart to keep that wisdom to yourself.

There are certain areas in business that I am not very good, and I found this out by trial and mostly error. So I decided that I would only do the things that I am highly skilled at, and turn to others who are highly skilled in the things I am not. Other times this taught me how I can be very good at something I didn’t think I was good at.

So when you mostly do only the things that God has gifted you with, is the smart thing to do. It is learning through our mistakes that we’re able to see the ‘red flags’ in situations, and respond to them more intelligently in this way.

So, again, this is the message for today: That to be considered to have smarts means, to me, that you give from your best self, skills, experiences, and following the Bible, in a way that makes a positive impact on others and in the world.