I used to say “no one liked the smartest kid in the class”. I didn’t mean it . . . exactly. I did mean it “kind of”. I certainly said it often enough.
In one blog I went so far as to name the smartest kid in my elementary school class, Arthur Schankler. So imagine my surprise one day when an email from him popped up in my in box.
I said it often enough. I never said it directly to the actual smartest kid in the class. In my defense I was always trying to make the same point: we were more in tune in elementary school than we often are as adults. As a child everyone pretty much knew that the smartest kid in the class was rarely the most popular kid. I suppose because those of us not as smart did not want to be reminded on a regular basis of others smartness.
Yet somehow when we morph into adults, we aspire on a daily basis to prove to others how smart we are, forgetting that no one liked “that” person. Our goal should not be to prove how smart we are, our goal needs to be to connect with others and to connect the dots for others.
Through the magic of the Internet and a coincidental Google search, my blog about no one liking the smartest kid found the smartest kid . . . in SE Asia. His location simply proving his title of smartest kid.
My initial shock gave way to fear. The fear centered around the unintentional hurt my blog could have caused. Maybe if I was the smartest kid I would have thought of that!
Arthur now Art received my blog with grace and a wisdom learned perhaps from years as the smartest kid. He shared with me that jr high and high school taught him when to hide his smartness, although he still claims others deserved the title.
I don’t know that I learned a lot directly from Arthur as a kid. The only thing I learned was flashcard envy. I so envied how fast he was at the math flashcard game. But I have learned from the adult Art. I learned the value of being gracious, that smart kids have feelings too, and no matter where you are in the world the Internet can find me and you.