The word “stupid” is often used as a pejorative when used as a personal attack regarding our perceptions of another person’s intelligence. But when we say that an act, or failure to act, is a “stupid thing to do”, we come closer to seeing the truth. We all do stupid things. Some of the most brilliant people I’ve met have made major judgement blunders.

By realizing we are all vulnerable to doing stupid things, we can relax and learn from them instead of drawing the wrong conclusion from a few examples of a universal process we all experience. We learn from the “stupid mistakes” that we make. It’s part of character building and researching better solutions.

So the next time I am tempted to think of someone as “stupid”, I’ll try to pause to think that maybe they just haven’t done enough stupid things learn from their mistakes. I may even extend the same generosity of thought to myself.

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