Have you ever wondered what makes people dumb?
Well, I did.
And guess what?
It’s not lack of a balanced diet. It’s not the lack of good ideas nor is it low self-esteem.
It will surprise you to know that what makes people dumb is almost entirely the thought patterns they are stuck to.
For better understanding, I’d call these thought patterns – limiting beliefs.
Don’t be, and I’ll explain what I mean but first let me tell you a short story.
On the day before last Christmas…
I had just slaughtered some fowls and was cutting the meat into pieces. As I was about to cut the gizzard, my nephew held my hand and said loudly “that’s not how it’s done.”
He said his mom usually put the gizzard towards her mouth and breathes on it twice before cutting it.
I laughed because I grew up seeing it done that way. Unlike him though, I used to ask why.
So, I told him it doesn’t make sense to me because the only reason everyone I asked gave was – it was how they were taught.
He affirmed his mom said the same thing and added that he’d prefer to do it his mom’s way because that’s how they say it’s done.
Now, for Lekan who is just 11, I guess it is hard to unlearn what his ‘idols’ – mom, dad, and religious leader maybe – have sowed in his mind, and I understand, but I wonder how many of those myths he’s going to hold on to for the rest of his life.
Why toe the line of a beaten path?
And just like the rest of us, he would grow to either run with the pack or unlearn these limiting beliefs if he wants to be different.
Mind you, this is also applicable to you and me.
If we ever want to do great things in life, we must be non-conformists.
We must break some rules to deconstruct old ways of doing things.
Although, I can’t list the many kinds of limiting beliefs there are because each of us must discover what it is for ourselves and deal with it.
But I can give you another instance.
Who else drinks his own pee?
Some time ago in high school, I had a friend whose mom was a nurse.
My friend told me that everyone in his family drinks their first pee daily (that is they drink their own urine every day because their mom said it is medicinal).
Whew right? I kid you not.
Today, I don’t know if he has stopped or is still doing so with his family. Talk about conforming or disregarding dumb ideas – and I hope you get the picture now.
Run a soul search.
Trust me; it will do you some good to find out the things you need to strip off your mind.
Search it out; it could be religious fanaticism or chauvinism. It could even be some cultural or philosophical stuff.
Whatever it is, it is your responsibility to break your limiting beliefs.
You’ve been told Hakuna Matata but Hakuna will not Matata if you fold your hands expecting.
You’ve been told that prayer is the key but the doors won’t open if you don’t work.
You’ve been told that anyone older is wiser even when you can smell their folly from afar.
You’ve been taught to not ask questions because they are culturally unthinkable, so you lay sound reasoning in the back seat.
Because you’ve followed the crowd. And conformity at its best makes you just a number in the crowd.
Learn to unlearn life’s BS.
Nevertheless, whether you believe it or not, there are tens or maybe hundreds of shits you’ve swallowed that must be puked so that you don’t become a dumb ass.
Hence, the need to probe the principles, beliefs and values you live by – to find how and why you chose them.
In the case of my nephew, I told him a fabricated story and advised him to always ask questions and to learn to think about everything and anything.
Hopefully, he’ll live by it and someday assess whether it is worth living by or not.
In conclusion my friend, please learn to unlearn the bullshits you’ve been fed if you ever want to do great things in life because the world is tough enough for the dumb and the only way to not be dumb is to – Think.