When I was a bit younger, I used to think stupid people were a problem.
I don't know how I'd define stupid exactly, but you know roughly what I mean. I thought, "Stupid people cause problems."
Now I'm starting to change my mind.
However you define "stupid," I don't think it's stupid people causing problems. There's lots of things I'm unskilled, uneducated, or unsophisticated about, but I tend to know I'm unskilled, uneducated, and unsophisticated about it. If I got into a metalworking shop, I'd quickly ask someone there what I'm supposed to do to stay safe, and then I'd stay the hell out of the way.
You see, I'm stupid about metalworking and metalworking safety, but that's okay. I'm rarely in a metalworking shop, I'd ask for guidance/instructions if I was, and I'd be careful and stay out of the way.
Some people lack all common sense, but even then I don't think they're necessarily going to break something. If you're a boss and you've got an employee who is a hard worker, honest, but lacks common sense, that's okay. Give them clear, simple, precise, repeatable instructions. Have them trained and re-trained before letting them loose on something breakable. Check in on them, encourage them, gently correct when things are wrong.
There's plenty of room for stupid people in the hell. I'm pretty stupid about lots of things, but I manage okay.
I don't think stupidity causes as many problems as I originally thought.
Nah, it's not stupidity. You know what causes problems? People who are oblivious and aren't paying attention.
I reckon most car crashes - are they the result of unskilled drivers, or paying not paying attention? I think the latter. Either someone talking on the cell phone, eating, putting on makeup, or otherwise not paying attention while driving. Or having liquor and being oblivious to your drunkenness and hopping behind the wheel.
Our society places a huge premium on "intelligence" - and frankly, I think it's kind of overrated. I'll write about this some other time. There's plenty of attributes more important than intelligence - work ethic, honesty, loyalty, awareness, persistence, empathy, diplomacy, things like that. For most important things in life, I'd take a hard working, honest, loyal, aware, persistent, empathetic, tactful person who had even below average book smarts over an intelligent person lacking those attributes.
But the real killer is being oblivious and unaware. Not watching the road while you're driving. Not checking and double-checking that all the machines are off. Not putting up signs that construction is happening. Just basic, basic shit that has nothing to do with intelligence. Paying attention to surroundings.
Stupidity can be dealt with. If someone's not good at something, they can learn it slower, or manage around that area, or avoid it, or delegate/defer it to someone else.
You can plan around lack of skill or ability in many areas, or avoid those areas and key in on virtues. Really, I think there's room in the world for people of people of all smarts and lack-of-smarts. Intelligence is overrated, and there's a dozen or so traits I'd look for before intelligence in someone in my life.
Stupid people aren't a problem. Oblivious people, though? Oh, they break all kinds of shit. Oblivious people are a big, big problem. We gotta watch out for them.