Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

June 17, 2010

Stupid or Dumb?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Words can be cruel.  Words can define.  Words can be used erroneously.  Do we really know what we are saying when we use certain words?  I thought on this the other day while I was sitting in the shade of a tree.  I called myself a name.  Then I wondered what I was really saying!  Let me describe the scenario, and then I will use a term to describe my action.

Once again we are enlarging our oak hammock in back.  There was some good sod that could be transplanted to some bare spots in another part of our yard.  I worked in removing the sod carefully and transported it to the new location.  I carefully planted it and then returned to enlarging the back area where we were going to plant additional trees and shrubs.

As happens regularly, I got tired and knew it was time for a rest.  I moved a chair under some oaks, near where I planted the new sod.  As I relaxed, I realized that I could be watering the new sod at the same time.  I got up, retrieved the hose and sat back down in my chair.  As I squeezed the nozzle on the hose, the flow of water began to wet the spots of new sod.  I continued this, moving the flow of water around to thoroughly water the sod.

In a few minutes, I realized the water would not reach some of the other areas of new sod.  I leaned forward in my chair and stretched my arm to extend the flow of water.  It just about reached the total area, but not quite!  I leaned so far forward in my chair that I almost tumbled forward.  Then I realized something!

And when the revelation came, I will confess I called myself a name!  “Lawson, how dumb can you be?  You sure look stupid if someone is watching!”  You see, I realized if others saw what I was doing, they might have called me a name also.  Have you surmised why I saw myself this way?  I was leaning as far toward the sod as possible.  I was really stretching to make the water reach.  If I had been thinking, all I needed to do was get up for a moment and move the chair toward the sod!  At a time that I was supposedly resting, I was working hard in an uncomfortable position.

Why had I waited so long to show some intelligence?  How many people might have driven by and thought I looked foolish . . . not using good sense?  Most folks would have given me advice, “Hey mister, why not move your chair closer?”

Now was I dumb or stupid?  That’s what I began to think on.  It was all right for me to call me what I chose.  I just don’t want other people calling me that, nor do I want to ever characterize someone that way.  We use these words so freely.  We need to be sensitive how we use them . . . and certainly we should use them properly.  I called myself dumb, but I was not.  Dumb is being temporarily speechless–and you know me better than that!  It can mean a lack of power to speak. In extreme cases it might mean slow to learn.  It has nothing to do with an action or behavior at a certain moment as we so often use the word.

Now was I stupid?  Yes–but don’ t call me that–I can do just fine on my own calling me that!  Stupid defines an act or behavior.  It simply means a lack of understanding or showing a lack of intelligence!  Oh, that I did when I didn’t move my chair toward the sod.  We may all do stupid things at times, but it does not make us a stupid person.

Stupid times in my life, I can remember.  I can remember many times, but this is not a confession column.  Of course, I am blessed that I cannot remember them all.  Other people may remember some of my stupid times, but please forgive and forget them!  The short-term memory loss can be a convenient thing.  I know, it comes some with age, but I have a better excuse–my medication.  But even if I can’t remember all the stupid times in my life, I pray they have served well to aid me in avoiding other stupid moments.

About not moving the chair?  No excuse. It just happened.  And something similar will happen in the future.  It is just part of living and learning.  Don’t beat up on yourself if you do something stupid.  Welcome to the human race!  But learn from it.  That is part of our experiences in life that aid in our maturity!



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