Intellectuals vs Non-Intellectuals
What do you do if you are, regretably, a non-intellectual individual who is constantly snubbed by family who happens to be intellectual? I mean, if I don't go out of my way to say hello, I am ignored. When I do speak first, after a few minutes of cordials, things seem to turn to politics, local or otherwise, which I am not interested in, and I just can't carry my end of the conversation. I know a lot about things that I am interested in, like skating, and cooking, and celebrity type of things, nothing very deep, I guess. Things that these people don't think are important to discuss. Eyes start to glaze over and sometimes I feel kinda stupid.
Do you think if I sat down and forced myself to read the A section of the newspaper or whatever that it would help? It seems most people know all about history or things that aren't current events. I never went to college, so I don't know. Any tips on being more "aware" or whatever?
This is what I tell my students. Watch Headline News at the top of the hour, or at the half hour. In ten minutes, you will know what's going on in the world that affects Americans. Ten minutes. I think everyone can spare ten minutes. And if you find something on there that interests you, then go to the web and learn more. Once or twice a week, watch a local newscast and a national newscast, and you will surprise yourself with how much you know.
I try not to talk skating with non-skating people, lol, because their eyes do glaze over.
Suzy, I just want to say that I think it so commendable of you to be thinking of ways to expand your horizons! I wouldn't suggest you do it just to fit in though, because I've learned in life that when I've made changes in myself to 'fit in' it's fairly short-lived and superficial.
That said, I think everyone should develop an interest in and understanding of what's going on in the world and in our country today. It isn't as much a matter of anyone's superior intellect as it is just reading and learning. We're living in such interesting times and are being called upon to make such monumental choices that it really demands every bit as much of our attention as pop culture does.
Find an issue that you could support....the environment, pro-life/pro-choice, children's issues, eldercare, Bush vs. Kerry election, animal rights...whatever resonates for you, and make a conscious effort to learn just one or two things new about it everyday. We're so lucky to live in the computer age!! You'll find that with your reading you'll be creating your own set of opinions and thoughts that may be interesting to share with your intellectual family (or maybe not, it really shouldn't matter.)
Just this week I was working with a client from Zaire. To my mortification at age 56, other than knowing it was in the middle of Africa, I realized I didn't know one darned thing about Zaire. I asked all sorts of questions, learned a lot and then hit the internet to learn even more.
I guess I'm suggesting that to learn about something so you 'fit in' has less value than developing a curiousity about the world we live in. Good luck to you. I'll bet too that you underestimate how you may be brightening your family's day with 'fluffier' topics than they may ordinarily think about!!
Thanks for the advice! I am going to make a conscious effort to read the headlines and watch the news everyday and start from there. I really do need to be more informed. :o
Forget headline use, check out BBC world
Check out BBC world news.
It is the best news website you can find, really. The front page summarizes news by the region and you can also get country profiles, etc. I learned so much since I started checking it out. I am not a big fan of the current headline news format: they skim on the rest of the world and have a lot of cheesy items.
Thanks for the BBC referral. I just added that to my "Favorites".
One website I always hit is http://www.bourque.org/
The person running it is Canadian, so there is a bit of a Canadian focus. But he reads just about every internet news source there is and posts links to the top stories and a few interesting ones too. He goes out and finds the good stories so we don't have to. He also has a list of all the news sources so you can check them out yourself. Its a great site and my first stop every morning.