Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

“You are very intelligent, aren’t you?”

Her words (above) did not feel like a compliment, more like an accusation, and also a justification for not wanting another date with me. I chose to ignore her words: both acknowledgement and denial seemed futile. Moreover, she added that “our lives are too different”. Lately, I have heard those words more often. I started wondering if both phrases are connected.

Several months ago, a former colleague made a similar comment to me. I jokingly replied to him that my intelligence had not been enough to prevent my severe 2013 burn-out. Afterwards, I felt surprised by his comment, which referred to decades ago. Back then, I was still full of insecurities, mostly due to a failing marriage.

I have never viewed – and still do not view – myself as “very intelligent”. I view myself as having common sense, and being a country boy with a farmer’s mindset (NL: “gezond boerenverstand“). Still, my 2015 blog once argued that common sense is not for the common man.

I have mixed feelings about intelligence. Ignorance and shallowness are a (major) turn-off for me. I prefer intelligent people but dislike it when they are flaunting with their intelligence. Unfortunately, intelligence easily interferes with the balance of power (eg, in relationships). Too often, intelligent people consider themselves superior over others.

To some women, intelligence is an aphrodisiac. I was unfamiliar with this phenomenon until a young Kenyan woman described herself to me as a sapiosexual; see my 2015 blog Sapiosexual. I do not consider myself a sapiosexual, unlike singer Mark Ronson (eg, CNNRollingStone).

Considering the above, I’m finally figuring out my “problem”. Once, my brutally honest mother called me ‘difficult’. I couldn’t relate to that term. I’m rather easy going if you don’t push the wrong buttons. Unfortunately, my mother does have a habit of pushing them.

However, intelligence is not only an aphrodisiac to some but also a threat to others. The phrase “our lives are too different” is suddenly getting a brand new meaning to me. It might imply that only sapiosexuals could relate to me. Others might see me as too difficult to handle.

Perhaps, shallowness is worse than ignorance because shallowness is a choice.

Two intriguing (and sarcasticquotes on shallowness:

  • Only the shallow know themselves. Oscar Wilde
  • There’s nothing wrong with being shallow as long as you’re insightful about it. Dennis Miller

Shallow (2019) by Tim Akkerman & Floor Jansen (written by Mark Ronson!)
artist 1, artist 2, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3, Wiki-4

Note: all markings (bolditalic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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