TELL ME ABOUT STUPID
I have been assured it’s not stupid because:
- It seemed like a good idea at the time.
- I had a lot to drink, smoke, or was otherwise drugged.
- Everyone was doing it.
- I did it on a bet.
- All my friends agreed — it was the right thing to do.
- I’m an ignorant ass.
IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME
This only works if you had an idea … and followed it to a logical conclusion. In other words, you were thinking about the decision. If you just did it because you were there, it or he was also there, so y’know, shit happened? That IS stupid. Sorry, but saying it seemed like a good idea doesn’t make it one. Anything done by reflex or without thought? Stupid.
I WAS DRUNK
You had too much to drink? Were really incredibly high? You took a handful of drugs?
Why would any of these things make you less stupid?
EVERYONE WAS DOING IT
As your mom used to say, “If everyone is jumping off the roof, does that mean you should do it too?” If your mom wouldn’t buy it when you were six, what makes you think anyone would buy it now that you’re … fiftyish?
I DID IT ON A BET
Even you think that was stupid, right?
ALL MY FRIENDS AGREED IT WAS THE BEST CHOICE
Since when are your friends, family, co-workers, shrink, or that guy you met while checking out your groceries, become the people who will decide on your future life? Since when does anyone but you count in your final decision to do anything?
I’M AN IGNORANT ASS
Right. Stupid. Because ignorance is not something you were given at birth. Ignorance is a choice.
YOU KNEW IT WAS THE WRONG CHOICE. WE ALWAYS KNOW.
When everything you know about right and wrong is telling you the choice you are about to make is wrong or bad for you — and you do it anyway? For whatever reason? That IS stupid. I’m not talking about deciding whether you should buy bananas or apples, or which television show to watch. I’m talking about decisions that will affect your life and possibly the lives of other people.
When you have an important decision to make, you are the one who gets to decide. What your friends think is neither here nor there. They have nothing to do with your understanding of right, wrong, good and evil … not to mention the larger context of who else lives in your world.
Sure, it’s possible to be intelligent and make a bad choice. We’ve all done it. It remains a stupid choice. The concept of choice and decision requires your judgments be the result of reason. If you typically make decisions without thought, do stuff you know in your gut goes is wrong, you can’t go back and say ‘Oh, it seemed like a good idea.”
No. It didn’t. It wasn’t the right idea, even when you made it. Maybe you did it out of spite or jealousy. Maybe you did it to prove something to yourself or someone else.
It’s still STUPID.