Saturday, November 20, 2010

Litotes of the Day: Being “Not Unintelligent” Does Not Make One Brilliant

I know people seem to think that this is a biased statement. In fact it is. The only unbiased statement here is that the phrase is indeed a litotes. The seeming bias of this statement springs from the flawed supposition that intelligence equals brilliance. In fact, it may even be more difficult for intelligent people to be brilliant simply because they are perfectionists with lofty intentions.  

So why say it if it is totally flawed to begin with? Simple. There is a grain of truth hidden underneath the flawed logic, which even now though seems but a glimmer of realization, still holds true in my heart. That is, insecure people are sometimes proud. Oxymoronic? Yes. But again definitely true. 

There seems to be no evolutionary basis for insecurity. Nature decides to pick the alpha male or the pride matriarch based on environmental and genetic pressures. Yet, everyone begins the same - a youngster with an insatiable desire to be on top. Despite this, everyone knows to back down once an alpha male is chosen not out of shame but as a survival instinct knowing the best chances are with a pack.  

The struggle does not end though. Emerging males will eventually challenge the alpha males and younger females will show their fecundity to nudge out the matriarchs. Yet despite everything , nature does not produce insecurity, only a realization that some are indeed at a place different than ones own. This concept is not unknown to man, we even have a word for it – niche!

If we look deep into the purpose of insecurity we find an abyss within a wide chasm. This is because there is no purpose to find. Insecurity is just an indication of being lost in purpose. Insecurity is a mask to hide a state which is even more pitiable – waywardness. A state of having no direction. A state of certainty only in the past but never the now, much less the future. 

This is the reason why litotes is the favorite accessory of the insecure. Saying I'm not lost instead of realizing he has not found. Telling people of being not insecure yet never really assuring them of personal security. Wrapping the reality of a different aesthetic as not ugly. Esteeming the not unintelligent as a feat. Litotes upon litotes which if we peel back, reveals the biggest stumbling block of all waywards – the inability to realize that one is lost! 

Realizing ones lack of direction heals our misconceptions and helps us see ourselves in the light that is our niche. We cannot deem our self less than another because each and every one belongs to a different place. There is nothing to be insecure about if we know that niches aren’t stacked on top of each other but rather an expansive interconnection that frays at the failure of one junction.

The worker is not less than a drone or even a queen bee! This is because each one is different . Even a worker bee is not less than it’s co-worker because no matter how similar the work, it is ultimately different. Insecurity is not only counterproductive, it is also purposeless, so why even bother. 

Not being insecure doesn’t make one proud, it makes one secure. And being secure should make pride unnecessary.

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