# It's a slam dunk: being smart is always useful

One of the nice things about Brilliant is that it's a community that celebrates and respects intelligence and the pursuit of esoteric subjects. This is in contrast to the larger world where there can be a stigma associated with being smart. We often hear words like nerd, dork, geek thrown around as being smart, by definition, puts you as an outlier of the population. People are afraid of difference, especially when the difference makes someone else better equipped to succeed and hence they often denigrate people who are different.

One of the standard (and admittedly sterotypical) divisions that exists with teenage populations is smart kids vs. cool kids, or smart kids vs. jocks, etc. This article talks about NBA basketball players who are both smart AND jocks and some of their experiences growing up. I found it pretty interesting. Apparently, even though they were in the top 1% of athletically gifted people, they still got grief for being smart and different. The best part of the article for me was the argument by the players that being smart is not something to be afraid of - it's a tool that makes you better at what you do - and that we should make the celebration of intelligence more common in society, similar to how we celebrate atheltic prowess.

Note by David Mattingly
6 years, 4 months ago

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I agree too but when people mock you due to your smartness, you may lose you confidence and start thinking that you are better off being dumb!(I'm a victim). So my suggestion to all: IGNORE THEM!!!

- 6 years, 4 months ago

"Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius."

- 6 years, 4 months ago

:)

- 6 years, 4 months ago

It's exactly right !

- 6 years, 4 months ago

Nice article!

- 6 years, 4 months ago

In this regard I would like to share a sketch of the very beautiful, the very talented Natalie Portman. She graduated from Harvard College with a BA in Psychology, co-authored two research papers, learnt the ballet, gave lectures at Columbia University, won an Academy Award, skipped the premier of The Phantom Menace to study for her high school exams....truly inspiring!

I think going for whatever you want in life with complete passion is real smartness. Getting caught up in the tangles of petty joys and an inward looking short-sighted mindset is being dumb.

We can do anything we want the day we realize we are limitless, we are brilliant ;)

- 6 years, 4 months ago