My definition of intelligence has greatly changed over the years. I used to believe that intelligence boiled down to having the most diplomas on the wall. I used to believe that belonging to the right societies, serving on cultural boards or counting the visits to the museum was a correct gauge of one’s knowledge. Unfortunately, a person can do all of these things, and still remain stupid.

Our great society has inflicted upon us a warped sense of pure intelligence. If the goal in life is to attain Peace, and Love, truly…..can we find it in a dollar bill? Being cultured, indeed, is important, as is financial responsibility….but, can they alone be the barometer of intellect? I don’t think so. Stupidity is a trait that is inflicted upon a person over time. The only way to overcome it is to understand why it exists, and search for the cure. So let’s take a look at what makes someone stupid, and how one can evolve from it.
As I have said before, culture and finance…two of the main gauges of success in a society, can leave us feeling empty and depressed upon achievement. How many multimillionaires have we read about over time who have spent their last days feeling empty and lost? I don’t know about you, but if I had accumulated a large amount of money in my life, and at the end of my days felt lost…I would consider myself stupid. How many more intellectual or literary writers do we need to read about, who were acclaimed by their peers, who committed suicide because they felt worthless? Yes, indeed, they fulfilled their art, but personally they were left feeling morose. Some, you could say developed psychological disorders…but overall, did they realize that their search for success and notoriety led them to the wrong place? There are four people that I know in my life who are all financially independent, and surrounded by loved ones, yet, they spend their days feeling sorry for themselves, angry, and plotting how to manipulate the next kind soul that comes their way. This is the definition of stupidity.

So what do I think real intelligence is? I think it is the realization that the true purpose of life is to Love, and be Loved unconditionally. For me, Love and God coexist together. Love is God….and God is Love. If in my endeavors I do not incorporate the ingredient of Love, then my goal cannot involve intelligence. The purpose of Life has to be to leave this earth a little better for having been here. It has been said many times, by people far smarter than me. Real intelligence, I believe, eventually leads one to this conclusion: that Faith, Peace, Love, and Life are priceless and precious…..without them, we are nothing more than hollow shells, adrift in a sea of stupidity.

Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

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