…huh? Never mind, it makes sense in my head.
This is probably one of the good lessons from the Grimm’s fairy tales. There is more than one good lesson in the collection, but it seems there are an awful lot of bad lessons, well, they’re bad by today’s PC standards. They probably weren’t so bad back then.
There are multiple stories about someone who is “clever.” When the Grimm’s stories use the word “clever” they mean no such thing. I have already explained that it’s like how a Southern person says, “Bless your little heart,” but really means, “You’re an idiot,” or how Bilbo Baggins says, “Good Morning,” to Gandalf, but really means, “Get the heck off my lawn you pointy hatted weirdo.”
These stories are obviously poking fun at the idea of people who just aren’t that bright. Sometimes the story really keeps with the idea that the person in it is terribly stupid. There was the story of the man who had a servant who was stupid and ran after birds instead of doing his work. There was also the story of the woman who rolled a cheese down the hill to catch another cheese that had rolled down first. Then there was the story about the woman who was so dim that she ran away from her own house because she couldn’t remember who she was anymore.
Sadly, it is true that there are some people who exist in the world who just don’t get it, ever. It doesn’t matter how many times you explain something to them; it never quite sinks in. These people have to be led through life. For the most part they can manage to live on their own, but the results are never as good as they would be if they were just a little smarter. If you don’t believe me about these people existing, just go look at some of the really stupid Yahoo questions that people ask. Some of these people are simply ignorant, while others really just don’t get it.
It’s ok though. We’re all different levels of intelligence in the world and we all have to live with each other. Sometimes patience is severely tested when dealing with someone who is just plain stupid, but hopefully those moments are less than rather that more often.
In the Grimm’s stories, the stupid person isn’t always necessarily that stupid. Everyone thinks he or she is stupid, but in the end, he or she does some really awesome things. I’ve got news for you, we’re going to drop the “she” because if a she is stupid in the Grimm’s stories, she stays stupid. She never really proves to anyone that she’s not stupid. It’s another gender stereotype, I know.
In the Grimm’s stories there is generally a younger brother who everyone thinks is an idiot. They’re scared to actually let him leave the house. They think he’s that stupid. At some point they’re like, “Oh well, let him go. He’s stupid anyway. It will just be one less mouth to feed.” So the stupid guy goes off on his own. He goes to find out what fear is or he goes to try for a princess. Nobody thinks he will survive his ordeal, but…surprise…he does.
Just because someone says you’re stupid does not make it so. Maybe you just think differently than those around you. People thought Helen Keller was stupid before she learned sign language. She went on to write words of wisdom and teach people. Einstein failed classes. He went on to develop all kinds of important theories and ideas we use today. I think people realized this even back in the day of the Grimms brothers. That’s why we have some story heroes who do what no one expected of them. They succeed when other smarter, braver, and stronger people fail.
These people succeed because they do really think differently or because they’re humbled and people and/or supernatural beings are more likely to help them out.
In the first case, sometimes we meet a character in one of the Grimm’s stories who just says to himself, “Maybe I can do it this way,” and it works. No one else who tried thought of the alternate way. Everyone else was thinking with a brute force mindset, but here our unlikely hero comes along and says, “I got this.” Sometimes a problem needs a fresh mind. Sometimes we need that person who thinks “outside of the box.”
Then in the other scenario our hero has some help. This help is only offered because our hero is a humble person. If you’re called stupid for years, it makes you doubt yourself, but it also makes you consider yourself not as important. Generally, we would think this is a bad thing, but it is also humbling. If you believe you’re truly not more important than a person around you, you’re going to be kinder to the people around you. You will consider them above your status if not equal in status. You’re more likely to treat them with respect, even if it’s only out of a desire to treat others well where you were not treated well. In essence, you’re almost more likable
In the end, either by the out-of-the-box thinking the other supposedly smarter people do not possess or by help from others, our hero with a perceived lack of intelligence wins. The idea of intelligence set forth by our society is not always what we need to figure out a problem.