Repost of an entry written in December 2009:
You ever meet someone who seemed like they could explain the theory of relativity to you but had no common sense whatsoever? I don’t mean like an idiot savant, just someone who had all the book smarts but lacked any common knowledge. Some call it street smarts, but I prefer to call it intelligence.
Being smart and intelligent are 2 decidedly different things. In my book, being smart is the capacity to learn from others or be taught, but being intelligent is the capacity to learn on your own. The ability to absorb and process without being told to absorb and process. Some people just cannot think on their own, almost like a computer.
I consider myself more intelligent than smart. While I’m at a more than adequate level in both categories, much of what I have learned in life I learned on my own. My parents guided me, but I wasn’t really formally taught about life and how to handle it. I learned a lot of what NOT to be by watching them and learning from the example they set. I’ve had my share of experiences and they’ve made me wise and intelligent, and in some cases, intelligent beyond my years. I don’t proclaim to know everything…in fact, most times I feel downright dumb. However, my natural abilities help me to succeed.