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Who's smart?

Updated on January 8, 2011

Intelligence Comes In Different Flavors


My friend Duke used to think I was smart because I had gone to college, even graduated. And I could write advertising and even get letters published in newspapers. He thought he couldn’t do those things, although I’m not so sure he couldn’t have if he had really wanted to.

On the other hand, Duke built an entire room addition to his home. He laid the rebar, poured the foundation, put up the walls - beautiful on the inside with native rock - put up the roof, handled the plumbing, the wiring, the whole enchilada.

I couldn’t even build a birdhouse. Every time I try to drive a nail I bend it

So, who would you rather be stranded on a desert isle with, me or Duke? He could build you a shelter to protect you from the elements. All I could do would be to tell you stories.

So, who is “smart”/?

I’ve been around cars and motorcycles all of my life. I’ve owned about 40 of each. But for me, changing a battery or sparkplugs is a major job. It usually takes hours and I end up with skinned knuckles, bruised pride, cussing and maybe even throwing things.

On the other hand, I have friends who can tear motors completely apart, repair them, make them run fine, with no parts left over. They enjoy doing it - like I enjoy writing.

Intelligence comes in a wide spectrum of flavors.

That’s why I think it may be a mistake for so many parents going into debt big time for their kids to get college educations, Or for the kids themselves to take on huge student loans that will take years to pay off, all to get that college degree. And it is unfortunate for parents and teachers to push the children to master pre college courses they may have no interest in and may never use.

Not everyone needs to go to college to be successful. The world needs only so many accountants, lawyers, sales or marketing people. We may wind up with an over abundance of them if we keep pushing everyone to go to college. We could wind up with a shortage of mechanics, carpenters, welders, plumbers, all kinds of tradesmen. And some of those professions pay good money.

It reminds me of the joke. When a man gets a bill from his plumber he is aghast. Why my psychologist doesn’t even charge that much, he complains. I know, responds the plumber, I used to be a psychologist.

I don’t mean to diminish the value of a college education. We’re going to need more educated people if we are going to compete in a global society. But let’s just remember, we don’t want to force everyone into the same few cookie cutter careers. What if we could all write books and nobody could build a house of repair a car? That could be just as bad as if we could all build houses and repair cars but nobody could write a book.

If you enjoy nostagia, and if you like motorcycles, you would probaby enjoy my book, OVER THE HANDLEBARS, First published in 1975, then updated and enlarged in 2006, it is a collection of short stories and articles about all aspects of motorcycling. It is available from I also have written two other books about motorcycling availalbe from  You can read all 3 of them on your computer for just $2.99 each. Go to


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    • dongately profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Sana Clarita, California

      Hello thevoice and thanks for your frequent encouragement.

    • thevoice profile image


      8 years ago from carthage ill

      great hub we all learn new thanks


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