This must be my favourite topic, because I’ve written about it often enough. Well here’s another rant of sorts:
I despair for the future — not my future, but that of the world — because I find younger people can’t have intelligent conversations for the most part. They think they’re intelligent to be sure, but they can’t talk about a whole lot except in a cursory fashion. Even when I was younger, I found people able to have deeper conversations. Maybe it was just me and my friends, but I don’t think so. I think people are getting less intelligent as time goes on.
I’ve tried repeatedly to engage some of my friends in intelligent conversation, but it fails, repeatedly. And some of these people are supposedly smart. They seem smart, they act smart, but if you try to talk to them about anything that requires a thought process, reasoning, and an ultimate conclusion, you’re in trouble. I can usually terminate any conversation with a “… but why do you feel that way?” because they just can’t answer. I understand that sometimes you really can’t answer that question, however mostly you should be able to answer it. If you’re having a reaction to a situation, you should know why you’re reacting that way, what it is you’re feeling, and you should be able to talk about it (or say “none of your damned business” or “I do not choose to share”).
Because I don’t want to make these aforementioned friends feel bad, I’ll leave their names out of this blog post on the off chance they one day read this post. Among my older friends, there are some who can have these discussions (whether or not they choose to do so and with whom is a different discussion) and there are some who can’t. But the younger the friend, the less likely they’re capable. I know it’s not age related because 20 years ago I had friends in their teens who could have these sorts of discussion without any problem. I’m not sure I can name anyone under 25 who can and that’s bad news for everyone. I know the thoughts are taking place — it’s a human condition — but the skills to relate them are gone. Vanished without a trace. I have no explanation for it, but it saddens me and makes me feel, well, lonely.
Let me use one person as an example ’cause I know he won’t come here and read. There’s a guy named Josh and we were really good friends for years. We used to have lengthy, involved, interesting talks that were amazingly complex, detailed, and enjoyable on many levels (the subject of which are confidential as are all my conversations with friends). He’s in his mid-to-late 20s now. We’re not even friends anymore but that was his choice. He may be one of the most brilliant people I have ever met, and I get frustrated because he’s wasting his life. He should be running the world and instead he’s just another employee at a national retail chain. He might be the only person I’d admit is more intelligent than me. (That sounds so egotistical I’ve almost offended myself, but it’s true. I’m amazingly smart and I think he’s smarter. I think I need a bigger box for my ego.)
To be fair, most of my friends are smart: I think I said that in a previous post, or maybe I didn’t. I don’t suffer fools gladly and I cannot stand morons. Smart and Intelligent aren’t the same thing though. And although the people I hang out with are generally smart, they’re not all necessarily intelligent, though most certainly are. Of course, they all think they are but thinking something is true doesn’t make it true. It’s just really weird and I’m having a hard time expressing it here, but then again, I am aimlessly ranting.
I was going to make a point here, but if you’re intelligent you’ve got it figured out. If you’re smart, you probably haven’t. If you don’t know, well that’s a different story altogether.