I have come to appreciate that there are many different ways of being “smart”. The singular definition of my youth has given way to a reality that recognizes that one can be smart in some ways while naïve in others. While not exhaustive, my working list of smarts includes the following types.
Street smart. The most amazing example of this was a wickedly street smart boy of five I met in England. He was wise beyond his years. Manipulation, risky behavior, and a cheeky attitude were just the beginning. This was a kid that I would not worry about if you left if in a doggy part of town at 3 am. He would survive. I often wonder what became of him. The last I heard a new child reborn at the hand of Catholic nun who ran a primary school with stereotype firmness.
Relationship smart. I close my eyes and hope washes over me. Individuals that possess this ability always leave me feeling good about life as well as myself. Each has a unique ability to give spark to each encounter. They do not always know truth from fiction, good from bad, and yet their singular focus on the happiness of others around them make it fun to be with them.
Factually smart. Trivia, details, and formulas can always be found in a conversation with them. I have come to trust their factual insight. They help fill in the details in a way others cannot.
Divinity smart. It is a rare encounter when you meet someone with a Divine connection. Each has a unique way of seeing God. Their expressed faith systems fall across the spectrum. What they share in common is a humble demeanor and attitude, an intense desire to hear the story of others, and a thirst to always be in sacred space.
You can be smart in more than one way. If I was forced to choose, I would follow the psalmist’s advice; “If you are really wise, you’ll think this over – it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.” (Psalm 107.43)