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Measure of Intelligence

Being innate hunters and gatherers for the purpose of survival, man doesn’t limit this action to his physical existence alone, but also to enhance his mental, emotional and spiritual thirst for life. From the very beginning, the questions of why, how, when, where and why has always fascinated man. To this purpose, the development of “intelligentia or intellectus” began from a purely scholarly view point to betterment of one’s existence. Fast forwarding to the present day, on the purpose of enhancing one’s intelligence; education, travel as well as acquiring information has been on the achievements list.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. F. Scott Fitzgerald

In fact, many consider an intelligent person is one who reads a lot, received a good education, travelled a lot, knows several languages and bears a lot of facts, data or information. While all this is partly correct, one can have all yet lose sight of humanity. In other words, we can have all the prerequisites of being intelligent and be unintelligent. On the contrary, we can’t have any of the requirements and still be an internally intelligent person.

Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think. Ralph Waldo Emerson

For along the way we have lost sight of the real purpose of “intelligence”. The latter which in turn stems from the verb “intelligere” means to comprehend or perceive. Today both comprehension and perceptions are lost in the acquisition of intelligence.

Intelligence lies is not only in displaying knowledge, but also in the ability to understand others. It manifests itself in a thousand and a thousand trifles: in the ability to argue respectfully, behave modestly at the table, quietly (imperceptibly) help others, not to drop litter around themselves, not to utter hurtful or bad words or rude ideas.

Intelligence is the ability to understand, to perceive, it is a tolerant attitude towards the world and towards people. Dmitry Sergeevich Likhachev

So this begs the final question of whether we are intelligent enough to change for better and before things go from bad to worse. Or should we cling to what our beliefs and ideals were once formed on, even if they are humanely incorrect, egotistic and narrow minded to the point of stifling our relationships with fellow beings and curbing our growth, happiness and inner peace.

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. Stephen Hawking

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