Every last one of us have gifts and talents that God has bestowed upon us. We all have great abilities and equally limiting disabilities. These vary from person to person. The key is to know the difference between the two. Today, I have chosen to talk to you about the disability of intelligence.
First, most of us would believe that intelligence is a gift. It is what allows us to cognitively understand the world and affords us the capability of applying knowledge to our actions and behavior. The smart guy prevails, right? But there is a downside to intelligence that we must realize and accept, especially when it comes to working a program of recovery.
I have heard it said that there is no one too dumb to get the program, but there are many that are too smart. I used to be one of those guys. In my home group, I used to sit in the section of the room that was lovingly referred to as “Knucklehead Row” and I deserved to be there. Me and my fellow knuckleheads had long histories of relapses. Despite how smart we thought we were, we continued to drink again and again despite all the information we had to the contrary. We were the ones that were going to find a way to have the promises of the program and a cold beer! As you can well imagine, that didn’t work too well for us.
The dark side of intelligence is that it doesn’t allow us to learn anything new. If we already have something figured out and our opinions fixed, our minds remain closed to alternative thoughts. It makes us rigid and inflexible. It encourages us to challenge conventional wisdom and to prove we are the exception to all the established rules. Humility is often absent in such a thought process. It makes it extremely difficult to grow.
The only smart thing that I have ever truly done was to finally put my intelligence aside in exchange for acceptance. A truly intelligent person is open to new ideas with a willingness to incorporate and assimilate new concepts into an already existing mental paradigm. After battling this my whole life, I have come to realize that my happiness is not found in what I already know, but in what I have left to learn. We best keep it that simple and stop over-thinking everything. Never forget, the steps are numbered for the intellectuals.
James A. Francetich is a freelance writer and author. The opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not represent any community based recovery programs, private or public entities or any governmental agencies.