Stupid vs. ignorant

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Ok, file this post under Paul’s Pet Peeve department.

In reading comments on YouTube and even our forums, why is it some call others “stupid” when they don’t see eye to eye?

The dictionary defines stupid as: “having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense” and I don’t think most people actually believe others are “stupid” in a literal sense. It’s likely an angry outburst from our lizard brain, the Amygdala.

I believe there is a difference between stupid and ignorant.

Ignorance is a lack of knowledge.

I am ignorant of all sorts of things and happily admit it.

Who among us isn’t delighted to share our knowledge and teach someone something they’re hoping to learn? To me, teaching and sharing knowledge is one of the great joys in my life.

Surely it’s not you calling others stupid. But, the next time you read that word or hear that phrase, maybe take a minute to gently remind the other person that it’s neither productive nor all that difficult to suppress the urge to lash out.

If we can generously help another learn something we already have mastered, there’s no greater gift I can think of.