I have a ditzy side. I like to think it’s endearing, but maybe it’s just annoying to certain people close to me. In this high-tech world, many opportunities arise for ditzy people like me to make mistakes. Several times I have intended to write a text message to my husband only to discover I have written on a previous thread that included my sons. How was I supposed to know they were listening in?? The potential for embarrassment abounds here. My husband and I were texting about a private decision he was trying to make, only to have one of our sons pipe in with a wry comment.
You never know who’s listening.
Other times, my husband and I have been sharing thoughts or concerns about a certain offspring only to realize one of us (named Linda) texted the son rather than the spouse.
I’m not the only one who makes these errors. At my job, a plethora of women named Linda exist, thanks to the fact that in a certain decade this must’ve been a very popular name. I have sent and received emails intended for other people named Linda. On occasion, the sender was quite embarrassed by the snarky content of their message, read by this unintended audience.
Be careful what you commit to writing.
When I was growing up, I had a close friend who came from a troubled, broken home. She liked to say, “Just call me stupid,” when referring to herself. She shared my ditzy side—but I don’t think she was stupid. She lived with our family for a time, needing a respite from the chaos in her home. When my father made the decision to move us all to Florida from New England, they invited her to come. She refused. But on our moving day, she sat alone in our empty house with absolutely no place to go, breaking everyone’s heart. I’ve never forgotten her, despite losing touch. When I Googled her name a couple of years ago, her picture popped up in the form of a mug shot, taken in the very city where my family had moved to in Florida all those years ago. For some reason she followed us there, but never reached out.
Abandonment can make smart people feel stupid with damaging results.
During that same time period in my life, a popular song played on the radio, the lyrics going something like this: “She was a little bit dumb and a little bit smart.” A friend remarked, “That’s YOU, Linda. You’re a little dumb and a little smart.”
I always wondered which part of me seemed smart.
Sometimes we feel less smart than we really are. To my husband, I sometimes refer to myself as “the most educated dumb person out there.” He corrects me, never letting me define myself this way for too long. Many of us do feel more foolish than we are, often accepting false messages from others or considering mistakes to be stupidity. Other times we see the ability of others to soar into places we can’t imagine going, mistakenly attributing their rise to success (or highest office in the land) as “smarts.”
Wisdom and intelligence seem to be a different animal. Wise people are discerning, able to read a situation and make good, sacrificial choices promoting the welfare of others and themselves, sometimes at their own expense. Wise people avoid trouble, temper behavior, treat others with dignity, introducing calm in the testiest of circumstances. They speak surprising truths, refreshingly insightful. They see the craziness of someone’s behavior and refuse to engage or become complicit. They stand up to wrong, do no harm, and behave counter-culturally when behaving counter-culturally can harm their prospects at relationships, success, and promotions. In the Bible, the word “wisdom” is used 222 times. Quite an important word and something worth pursuing.
In my case, I may never be the smartest cookie in the package, (while writing this post, I just sent a personal email to the wrong recipient. Not kidding.) But I can strive to make wise choices. Hopefully those choices will be like water in a parched and dry land— and allow me to post this piece on the correct blog—the one that belongs to me.