“He’s so full of himself.”
“He thinks he’s better than everyone”
“He thinks he’s the smartest person in the room.”
“He has an answer for everything.”
Intelligence – The Best Quality People Hate About You
By Rock Kitaro
Date – October 14, 2018
I had a dream last night that was so vivid, it gave me heart palpitations in despair. The immense sadness struck way to friggin close to home.
It’s about a teenager, black, strong, tall, and handsome. He’s attending a religious meeting, dressed in a sharp suit. He’s asked to pray for the congregation, sort of like, “just go for it son, we all support you” type deal. When he does…he hears others whispering silent prayers over his. That’s when his vision gets blurry. He struggles to think. His chest gets hot and he shuts down.
On the van ride home with his parents and brothers, he has his eyes closed. He’s trying to stay calm but for some reason he’s full of suppressed rage. They keep asking him what’s wrong. But he can’t say. He can, but doesn’t want to. They keep pressing him, but he refuses. He keeps his eyes closed. He’s afraid to open them. He’s afraid to show that rage. It’s there. They all know it. But the sight of his eyes…he doesn’t want them to see it.
In school, four boys push and tease him. He keeps trying to walk away but they block his path. Everyone’s laughing at him. Even a larger teacher who has the ability to break it up, this teacher just sits back and smirks at the young man.
After a final shove, this young man turns around and cracks one of them in the face so hard that he dislocates the bully’s jaw. The others rush him. They gang up to jump him. But he anticipated it. He knew they would. From the first insult, on the first day of school, he’s dreamed of this day. And now that day is here. They swing and grab our young man, but our young man is quicker, stronger, and more importantly he has the knowledge of a fighter.
He bobs and weaves, slipping the jab, evading the cross, sending crippling uppercuts to their kidneys, stomping out their knees, and shoving their heads into the locker. When the larger teacher gets involved, our young man puts the teacher in a headlock and literally spins him around for a devastating DDT to plant the teacher’s forehead into the tile.
It’s only then that our young man submits.
In the principal’s office, the young man is on his knees. Again, his eyes are closed. His heart is full of suppressed rage as if that beat-down hadn’t even scratched the surface of the release he so desperately craves.
His parents are there. Again, they’re begging and pleading with him to open his eyes, to try and explain to them what’s wrong. But he refuses. He’s moved to tears.
Now he’s in the living room of their home. Again, he’s on his knees in a submissive state, his heart full of rage, his eyes closed. It’s a family meeting. Everyone speculates about what’s to be done. Our young man is hopeless. At this point, he could careless about his future. Whatever happens, happens.
There’s a knock at the door. A man enters, dressed in a sharp suit and a hat, like some sort of priest from the Exorcist. The Man walks over to our young teen and smiles.
“It’s alright. You can open your eyes. I understand.”
Those magic words…the key. I understand, he said. But it’s not enough to say it. He has to prove it.
“You have power to do or be whatever you want. Your potential is off the charts. Anything you want, you can get it. But you won’t. Because you want to do the right thing. You have to do what is good in God’s eyes. Jesus talks about how the meek will inherit the Earth. The Proverbs talk about how there’s wisdom in silence. Being humble and exercising humility conflicts with who you are and its tearing you apart.”
“What are you talking about?” The mother says.
“Shsh…” Says our guest. He continues with… “I understand, son. It’s alright. You have to come to terms with who you are. What you are… Intelligent.”
Our young man opens his eyes. The rage is feral.
“I know. Knowledge. Wisdom. Intelligence. You’re blessed with all three gifts but you have no idea what to do with them and it’s painful, isn’t it. It’s like Superman, who has super strength and super speed, but he holds back all of that in an attempt to blend in and live a normal life with all the other ordinary human beings. But unlike strength and speed, intelligence comes with an unavoidable caveat that is awareness.
“You can’t ignore what you see and hear. You take it all in and process everything. Even now. You see me. You see my suit, my looks. You hear my voice and the precise words I’m choosing to speak. Your mind is moving a hundred miles an hour trying to figure out who I am, where I came from, why I’m helping you, and am I really as satisfied with life knowing what I know. You see your parents and your brothers, wondering what they will say when I’m gone, wondering if they’re already concocting some counter to my perspective to keep you contained.
“And that’s all that is. The bullies. Your peers. Your parents. Your teachers. They don’t understand you. They see you. They know what you’re capable of and they’ll say things like they don’t want you to come out arrogant or with an inflated ego, but that’s all ludicrous. Isn’t it? They’re too stupid to realize the immense rage in your heart is not at them, but yourself. You know you can pretend to be who they want you to be, but you know God sees deep within your heart. You can’t hide the truth from Him. So what’s to be done?”
Already the weight is beginning to lift. The young man can breathe again, but still it’s uneasy.
“These gifts God blessed you with, they have a purpose. I don’t know what that is. And neither do you. But if you’re a true believer and truly intelligent, then you know that regardless how much information you soak in, there will still be answers inexplicable. But no matter what, trust in God.
“Embrace these gifts. Use them when you can. And prepare yourself. No matter how much you hold back, and you do…hahaha! I know you hold back so much. Every problem that comes up, every time you hear someone complain, every debate, every conflict, you see the answers. The solutions are obvious to you. But you know. These people aren’t looking for solutions. They’re in love with the drama, which is illogical to you and it’s killing you. I know.
“But dare I say, therein lies your true strength. The strength to walk away. The strength to say nothing when you know no one gives a damn about solving the problem. You pick and choose your battles and the fact that you see all paths and pick the one that you think is best in God’s eyes…that’s your humility. That’s how you display how humble you are.
“You can gloat. You can brag. You can rub people’s faces in their problems saying ‘see! I told you, I warned you! You didn’t listen to me!’ Or you can simply say nothing. Work off those frustrations in the gym.”
“I think the key for you is simply finding a best friend.”
“How?!” the young man says as if already knew that. “Everyone I meet or talk to thinks that I’m arrogant. I can see it. Even if they’re friendly to me at first, I can see my words putting them to shame so I hold back and conceal that so-called intelligence. But if I’m always holding back and not being myself, how can I say that anyone around me, how can I say that I have any friends at all? They don’t know me. They’ll only know a performance of me, an act, a character I’ve created and presented to them.”
“Is it really so important that they know the real you?”
“Because it only amplifies the loneliness. And even in the Bible it says it. Man’s not meant to be alone. It’s not fair. That everyone can have someone, except me. It’s like I don’t exist. It would have been better not to be born at all.”
“Consider the example of Job, my young scholar. Did he know why God allowed for him to be stripped of his home, wealth, and family? When his so-called friends came to talk some sense into him, they did more harm than good, didn’t they. Because they failed to understand his faith. They kept trying to make him out to be actually less faithful than he really was. And they’re arguments were convincing. Any lesser man would have caved and cursed God. But Job didn’t. Regardless of the reason why, he still put faith in God and endured. And God rewarded him.”
“He doesn’t reward them all.” The young man says. “Consider Stephen. Who spoke the truth in the face of an angry mob and was stoned to death. Where was his reward?”
“Stephen’s death was tragic, but surely you don’t think he was the only martyr during that era. Why do you think his example was written and included in the Bible? Even Solomon in Ecclesiastes, makes it plainly clear that sometimes the righteous do suffer. But why do you think God allows these things to happen? What do the deaths of the innocent, the righteous…what effect does that have on others?”
The young man already knows. And yet, the truth does little to assuage his seemingly rotten predicament.
“It inspires others. Doesn’t it. Who knows where Christianity would be if those early martyrs had not died, if they didn’t take up the cross and truly follow Jesus Christ?”
“Is that what I should be? A martyr?”
The man sighs. “I certainly hope it doesn’t come to that, my friend. But know that this world is wicked. It accepts what is there’s and because you belong to Christ, it will reject you.”
“Even my own family?”
“You can’t blame your family for failing to understand. Not everyone has your gifts. The best thing you can do for yourself is strengthen your resolve. One day you’ll leave this nest and if you must, seek out others who are just as intelligent. But even then, it’ll be tricky. Intelligence, being smart, they say it’s a virtue. But more and more it’s beginning to seem that none of the virtues are wanted or appreciated it. So brace yourself for that.”
“That’s not very inspiring, mister.”
“I’m not here to inspire you, my friend. I’m here to prepare you. I’m here to help you help yourself. That this is reality. You can use your daydreams to escape to a far-off land when you’re alone and need to take your mind off things. You’ll immerse yourself in work and keep yourself busy to refrain from think about that which isn’t necessary. And who knows…Maybe God will bless you with at least one who can be a best friend to you, someone dependable and there for you. But know this…even when you do, you’ll also have to be a best friend to them. Jesus Christ helped others. What will you do?”
The words are a jolt…an injection of determination. And there. For the first time in a long time, our young man smiles. Because it’s a challenge. It’s a cliché and sophomoric thing to think that it’s just you against the world. So many times we see this attitude and its usually not in the heart of a meek and humble Christian. But for Christians who do endeavor to do what is good in God’s eyes, it really is the Christian against the world.
“He’s full of himself.”
“He thinks he’s better than everyone”
“He thinks he’s the smartest person in the room.”
“He has an answer for everything.”
“You really do come off as a bit arrogant.”
“I’m not sure if you realize just how intimidating you really are.“
“People don’t hate that you’re smart, they hate how you talk to them.”
If you’ve received any criticism like this, and inquire to those firing off such criticism as to why it is that they think this about you…the answer is usually because of something you think, which you made known, not out of the blue, but because you were friggin asked. Or worse…they have no answer. They’ll just say, from the way you act.
Essentially it all boils down to their own insecurities. And instead of simply admitting in their hearts that you are smart, intelligent, or knowledgeable, they’d rather just break you down and bring you to their level. And it sucks, right? Because chances are, the people who say these things to you are probably the closest ones you can come to calling a “best friend.” Or worse…someone you actually want to get close to.
Last week…really over the past couple of months, there have been so many instances in which a coworker with brings forth some new idea to implement. And while, I get that everyone’s open to trying new things, I’m not on board with experimenting at the expense of hurting team morale or driving down production. To much is given, much is expected. What’s the point of being a leader, of having the wisdom, if not to use it to help others, if not to help my team?
So, discreetly, I messaged and sent e-mails to the right people without taking it to the top boss, warning them of the problems that would arise, that would come about it. And each time, I’ve been brushed off.
And just as I predicted…literally exactly as I predicted. The problems took place. People complained openly. And everyone was pissed. Meanwhile, I saw all of this and rode the rollercoaster of emotions.
First it was such joy that my premonition was right on the money. Then as people complained, I wanted to scream at how I tried to warn them. But because I don’t gloat, because I don’t brag or tell anyone how “right I was”…I feel like crap inside. So badly I want somebody, anybody to acknowledge my efforts, how I tried to avoid the catastrophe. I don’t know why I want that acknowledgment. Call it validation. Call it a “pat on the back”. But without it, I really do feel invisible. Like I don’t exist.
And probably the worse thing about it all, is indeed my ego. You have no idea how ridiculously tough it is not to think that everyone around you is a fucking idiot while your intelligence puts you above the rest. You shouldn’t think this. Everyone’s equal, right? You’re no better or worse than the rest. You’re supposed to be humble.
No lie…I even Google’d for the best way to keep your ego in check. And on almost every list, there’s the suggestion of having a best friend. Someone you can unload and reveal these most honest of thoughts to. And this is a real struggle to me.
Probably the closest friend who really knows the real me lives on the other side of the country, and she’s married. So I can’t really call on a daily basis, lest I cause a strain on her relationship with her man.
I have two other close friends a bit closer to home. But one is an ex, who I’m afraid of hurting by getting too close. And the other is a good-natured individual who lacks comprehension. So if she were to read all of this right now, she’d still be like… “huh?” And with friends who simply lack that ability to comprehend, you really have to be careful because they have a way of making you second-guess yourself. As if, because they don’t understand, it must not be as “bad as you’re making it to be.”
Thus…I really don’t have anyone dependable in my life whom I can talk to on a regular basis about this kind of stuff. I suppose it isn’t that important that they understand a hundred percent of what I’m saying. It might not even be that important that they understand a hundred percent of who I am. But at the very least, I need someone to lean on, someone supportive and encouraging. I think that’s why I’m drawn to upbeat, happy-go-lucky women who smile and laugh so easily. Of course, one wonders what a shining light like that would be doing with a dark storm like me.
Companionship is the key.
“Well, if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?”
Because I’m not willing to do, just anything. Lol, I mention that here at this point because I’m sure by now, it’s pretty obvious what one should do if they want someone in their life who either has that intelligence or shares the same worldview. Join a congregation or enter a scholastic circle.
“Hi, what’s your name?”
“So what brings you here.”
“I’m looking for a friend.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that! Go for it,” says the optimistic.
lol…I just might.