Nothing is Stupid

By: Ed Jubenville, Kathleen's husband   |    Read time: 3 minutes


Nothing is stupid. That phrase has been stuck in my head for a while now. I don’t even know why, but I decided it's time to unwrap it. 

When I was a little kid, stupid was a common thing to hear. “That's stupid”, “they're stupid," or “you are stupid?" Do kids still say that today? I don’t know, but I certainly don’t hear adults saying that. Why not?

The first definition I found for stupid is “having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense." The word stupid is generally considered pejorative, an expression of contempt or disapproval. Why? Specifically, why is the word stupid considered an expression of contempt? Why can’t it simply mean what its definition says: “lacking common sense?"

If I saw someone run into traffic without first looking both ways, I could rightfully consider that to have been a stupid thing to do on the basis of lacking common sense. Everyone knows (or should know) to look both ways before running into traffic.

If I left the house on my morning commute and ran out of gas on the freeway, that would be a stupid thing for me to have done. Everyone knows (or should know) that you should check the gauges when you start the car. You can be sure that I would be highly critical of myself for being that stupid, but I would quickly get over it. Why?

Because “being stupid” isn’t an unalterable condition. In the moment I was stupid, but in that same moment I can consider my choices. Should I look poorly upon myself tomorrow for having made a mistake today? Should I think of all the reasons why I made such a stupid mistake and feel helpless to not make it again? Or should I take a moment to understand why I made that mistake, consider how I might fix it, and gain optimism for tomorrow?

The choice for me is clear. I spent a large portion of my life feeling helpless to lift myself up from my shortcomings. But once I truly understood that I had been steeped in a mindset of victimhood, I woke up to the reality that it didn’t have to stay that way. Freedom was just a decision away.

If stupid means lacking in intelligence or common sense, then the mindset that nothing is stupid will keep me on a continuous, winding pathway of personal growth. I truly want to wake up as a better, smarter, kinder person than I was the day before.

Sooo...I look forward to doing my next stupid thing!


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