Intelligence is defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. If someone does not apply the skill they’ve acquired are they no longer considered intelligent? You might say they are knowledgeable, but the definition of knowledgeable is intelligent and well-informed. There is this tree of wisdom that branches off into intelligence, knowledge, intellect, understanding and so much more related to obtaining information. Do we all see intelligence in the same way? Some might see a farmer as wise. He knows when to plant when to harvest, what plants can grow together, and when to plant in different areas so all of the nutrients in the soil are not completely depleted. Then some might view an engineer who works in NASA as intelligent, how to calculate math equations in his head and determine the correct measurements for each design they make. Some might say the engineer is intelligent as the farmer is just doing a repetition of things his family before him did and knows the signs of when it’s best to complete a task. Others may say the farmer is more intelligent as he has no blueprints to work off of and it's based on memory and intuition. I would argue both are intelligent in their own set of skills that they do apply.
Curiosity surrounds us whether we acknowledge it or not. All of us are curious about something. It could be about humanity's past, the universe even wondering if a new spice would improve the next dish they cook. Curiosity can lead to intelligence in a particular field. Through repetition, intuition, and memory, you become the farmer, the engineer, and the genius cook with a food stand tucked away in the streets as a hidden gem to be discovered by food lovers. The point after all that talk that I’m wanting to get across is that every person you meet has a form of knowledge you could benefit from. Let’s say you’ve read all the books on current mathematics. You either apply this to a profession you have or to a hobby on the weekends. Then you come across a stranger one day who tells you that most of what you know is wrong. You laugh at their statement as you sift through all the books you’ve read in your mind and ask them where they misplaced their brain. But as you regain composure and decide it’s best to be humble, you kindly ask them to show you how they see it as what you’ve learned is wrong. They explain it is not wrong the knowledge it is the application. That the books and the studying have shown you the complicated ways of solving equations when there is a much simpler way. You listen to them share their wisdom and insight and realize that you’re seeing all the knowledge you've obtained in a whole different light. It's not that none of what you learned is wrong just there is another perspective to it.
This is why it’s sometimes important to engage with those who do not know what you know or claim to know the same subject you’re well versed in. From this other view they offer, it can expand new ways of seeing it through a different approach. We all do live in this one reality but often through experience and other causes, we see things differently.
“Many heads are better than one head.”, Estonian saying
I will admit I often encounter those that I’m surprised natural selection has not found them yet, but I also have to be honest that these are the perfect opportunities to challenge yourself. It's often when we teach others what we know, that were challenged with questions we’d never thought to ask. Sometimes this reveals that you might just not know all you thought you knew. You could learn all there is about the mechanics and engineering there is about ships, but it’s not until you sail it’s all truly understood. Not to say you don’t understand how it works, but something about the experience of finally sailing makes the knowledge clearer.
My final thoughts on this is that intelligence does not discriminate and it does not see your status or your position in a company. You can learn from everyone. Even the one delivering your pizza to your door.