Stupid Is as Stupid Does

Do you have any mental blind spots? That is to say, are there any types of thinking that are hard for you? I have a few. I can think of two immediately because they’re both things that have come up recently.

  1. There are some math scenarios that drive me nuts. I will give you an example. If you ask how many years occurred between, say, 1970 and 1980, then one answer is 9 (this answer includes only the years between: 1971, ’72, ’73, ’74, ’75, ’76, ’77, ’78, and ’79). But what if you were including 1970 or 1980 or both? Then the answer could be 10 (if including either 1970 or 1980) or 11 (if including both 1970 and 1980). So the answer could be 9, 10, or 11, depending on the details, but it looks (to me) as if it ought to be 10 and only 10. So I literally have to count on my fingers when trying to figure out any kind of math involving units of time.
  2. Family relationship also boggle my mind. I was just reading a book about Merlin (of Arthurian myth). In this story, he was the son of the brother of Arthur’s father. I mentioned this to my husband and, while I struggled to figure out what to call their relationship, my husband immediately said, “Cousins.” Duh. Me, I have to draw a family tree.

My mind simply balks at these kinds of problems. And when I get that sensation of mental numbness that I’ve come to realize is my mind absolutely refusing to focus on a problem, I think to myself, “This is what it feels like to be stupid.”

I don’t think that I’m stupid, though. I realize that I have some weak spots in my thinking, and that’s okay. Nobody’s good at everything. As long as I can work around my mental weaknesses, whether by counting on my fingers, or making diagrams, or even asking for help, then I’ll consider myself competent.

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