Welcome to college. You see the new kids here; you see the seniors arriving for the last time, and it hits you how fast time really does move. In just years or months, you’ll be moving on to the next chapter, whatever that might be. And now I’m just beginning to realize that I actually don’t know anything.
I’m not saying that to be ironic or funny or to copy that guy who said only the very wise people would admit that they don’t know anything. I honestly don’t.
Everything in life is judged by how well we do something. Great, I get it, though, you know, the more you know the better. But some people know more about some things than other people, and that’s fine.
My point is that knowledge is really relative. Someone from Harvard is smarter than someone from U Michigan or something. But that’s stupid. What does being “smart” mean anyway? We are all better at something than someone else is. That’s the way of the world for you.
Some people are street smart. I’m not; I can know to cross the street when I see the little walking figure guy. I know to walk away from a potential mugger or thief who might have ill intentions. I know to be careful at night. But I have no idea what stores to go into, what mode of self-defense I’m supposed to use, or what way I’m supposed to defend myself with if I need to when I’m in the big city. I need someone who knows the area with me.
Some people can play an instrument, or two, or five. Me, nope. I love the radio; I can sing to it for hours. I love Taylor Swift, NEEDTOBREATHE and Steve Tusi, but that doesn’t make me a musician or someone who knows anything about music. I think music is a beautiful thing. It’s a way to express emotion and feeling when you can’t with words or motion. And that’s a beautiful thing. I could never do that. I am not smart enough. But I appreciate those who can. They are smart enough.
There are people who are people smart. Those people can make friends better than I ever could. They know people and know how to read them and learn from them, and they become better people than they were before that interaction. They know when someone is having a bad day or is about to have a nervous breakdown over a test that is going to be horrible. They are smart with people like that.
There are countless others; people who are good at communicating, politics, small talk, being friendly all the time without any hesitation. There are so many people who are smart in ways that could never be measured by an IQ test or a letter at the top of a paper.
The most important thing, though, beyond any other scale of intelligence, is living well. Ya gotta live smart, kid. Here’s why.
The most important way to be smart is in God. If you are smart in God, then you are smart in everything. And I don’t mean Bible-facts smart, even though that’s important to understanding and knowing God and who He is. No. I mean knowing Him by loving Him and keeping His commandments. Honoring your parents. Not telling lies. Being a good friend. All of that is living smart and being a good, wonderful person by living in God Himself. That means more to your level of “smart” far more than any GPA, letter or score could ever tell you. Scores, numbers, letters, weighted averages, all those things are man-made and not of God.
God does not call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful. And if we do that, I think we’re pretty smart.
So next time you’re tempted to say “she’s not smart” or “I’m not as smart as he is,” remember that being smart is relative. Remember that everyone knows something about something. Learn from knowing that, and that truly makes you smart.
Now go be smart.