Here’s a myth. The myth is that human beings are intelligent. By believing this myth, we believe that all the judgments we make, which then lead to our choices and behaviors are dictated by logic, objectivity, and reasoning.

It is true that human beings have a higher capacity for critical thinking, the ability to revise our understanding on things when given new information, and the ability to synthesize different areas of knowledge to come to new conclusions. And this is what we would call intelligence.

The truth is that we have intelligence, but the lie is that we are intelligent, as if intelligence is woven into the fabric of our identity.

What we “are” is not any different than any other living being, motivated to meet our needs. Intelligence is one of the tools we can use to meet such needs, similar to how an elephant uses its trunk to meet its needs, adapted for its environment. We don’t always use the best tools available to us.

Why is this important? Because when you are heart broken and confused as to how Kavanaugh will become the next Supreme Court Justice of the United States of America, despite being partisan, contemptuous, dishonest, and a sexual predator, you can make sense of it because the need for some human beings to hold onto their power will explain how intelligence was not part of the process of choosing a worthy person to sit on the Supreme Court. Nor empathy, compassion, discernment, or judgment. Just a need to hold onto power.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Written by Joseph Lee, M.D.

I'm a Psychiatrist in private practice in Redondo Beach, CA. I completed both medical school and residency training at UCLA. My practice is psychotherapy based with a health-oriented focus on personal growth and wellbeing. I also teach about mental healthiness and advocate for social emotional learning (SEL) in all contexts.

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