A Great Debate on Smarts
This mom engages in a great debate with one of her kids.
They say knowledge is power. I suspect all my kids might be power hungry, then, because all they do is thirst after knowledge. As parents the general rule is that if your kids have a question, you need to know the answer, or find it out.
Somewhere along the line, a very smart person told me that knowing what I didn't know was powerful as well, and an important tool. As I became aware of all the things I did not know, it occured to me that the amount there is to know in this world is too vast for one person, or perhaps even Google.
There is no other creature better at reminding you at what you don't know, then children.
"Did you know," said the ever learning 10-year-old, "that humans are the smartest mammal on Earth?"
"Are you sure?" I asked. "Because I am not so sure about that."
"Well, it's true, mommy. You should know that."
"If we are so smart, then why are we so destructive?" I asked her.
She really did not know what to say. I culd practically see the smoke coming out of her ears, in her attempt to keep her stake on the claim that humans are the smartest.
"Well, we are, you don't see chimps using ...you know. Stuff." she said.
"Really?" I asked her. "Then you must now know that chimps have been known to use tools for decades now." I went on to explain some of the basic ones they use.
Eventually, she concluded that while humans have a great capacity to learn, we may not actually be the smartest, despite what the SAT's, MCAS, and GRE's say.
She did, however, conclude the conversation with a long list of inquiries.
"How about ants?" she wanted to know. "They're not too smart," she declared.
"Sure they are. They build complex structures under ground, overhead, in the jungle, in the city, they are very adaptable. They even farm. They are the only other being on earth that grows food."
I was quite impressed with myself, having dug deep into the recesses of my brain and dug that tid bit out from one special I watched on Discovery or National Geographic about all different species of ants.
"Then why," she inquired with what seemed to be genuine wonder, "is it that they aren't smart enough to get out of the way when people walk? We squish so many of them without even trying. You'd think something that smart would have the sense to run when they saw a foot coming."
I honestly had no idea nor was I armed with a witty come back to defend myself with against the sharpening brain of my child. When I admitted I didn't know, she asked me more questions. How smart are birds compared to humans? How smart were chipmunks, compared to chimps? After answering the majority of these with an I don't know, she grew frustrated with me.
"Moooooom. You are supposed to know this stuff!"
To which I responded, "See? I told you that humans were not really the smartest animals on earth. Look at all the stuff I don't know!"