Sign #6: Idiots Surround Themselves With Idiots
From as far back as I can remember, as a kid, I was always admonished, “birds of a feather flock together” and, of course, the very famous, “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.”
The intent of these messages, and other similar ones as well, I believe, was for us kids to shun bad influences from peer groups particularly by avoiding the negative groups themselves and to choose friendships that promoted positive attributes.
Naturally, we gravitate towards people who exhibit common traits, interests and tastes with us and who do similar activities as we do. We tend to associate and congregate with these people.
Idiots are not exempted from this rule
One sign of an idiot is the level of dedication with which they seek other idiots.
This confluence of idiots, desperately seeking to outdo themselves in their display of idiocy, will tell them what they want to hear; gleefully argue with them about insensible things; facilitate the wasting and killing of precious time; encourage them to complain about problems they have never thought of solving; drag them to failure [I heard that failure, to some people, becomes more acceptable when they discover that “other people failed too”. This is particularly true of idiots].
Perhaps the most important function of the support system which an idiot builds around himself is that it fosters a mutual scoff at wisdom and lends credibility to inanity.
If a non-idiot chances upon such a congregation, he has two options really- to join them in their hearty feast of folly and risk being infected by the idiot bug or to simply walk away. If he dares attempt to teach sound knowledge, he will be promptly dealt with. He will receive the severest tongue-lashing of his one life and, if care is not taken, this wise man may begin to think that perhaps he is the idiot. If a single idiot is hard to convince, think of the miracle it will take for a congregation of idiots.
I think this is the most revealing sign of an idiot for a very valid reason.
Arguably, the easiest way to pick up, maintain and/or propagate a practice is through groups. If you want to pick up a trait, you mingle with persons who exhibit that particular trait. If you want to be wise, you mix with people who are wise. Simple and basic.
An idiot has a higher chance of being redeemed from his idiocy when he mixes with wise people than he does if he remains in the Idiot Union. If a person repeatedly exhibits idiotic tendencies, it is very likely because he is frequently within a system with a powerful force field of idiocy and which encourages the display of such.
There are many things one can do to stop being an idiot but the most important one, I believe, is to consciously begin to avoid other idiots. This, sometimes, may be quite difficult but it is a needful lesson we all must learn and apply in life. After all, who loves to lose a friend, especially a long time friend?
But I have learnt that as we grow, some associations must change. If we are not headed in the same direction, then what on earth are we doing in the same boat?
That you were important in my past does not necessarily mean that you would be instrumental in my future.
It doesn’t mean I hate you or that I would stop talking with you. No. It just means that I would spend very, very little time being around you. Destiny is calling. I must heed. Goodbye.
If an idiot says he wants to be wise, but remains in the Idiot Union, he just likes the sound of his voice and is only in love with the idea of being wise.
Show me a consistent, unrepentant idiot, and I will tell you who his friends are.
Akpoveta Valentine ‘t
Kineto Leadership Coach
He has served severally in Leadership Capacities in various Organizations and is a contributor to several Print and Web Media. He is also passionate about nation-building. His pastimes include Critical Thinking, Reading, Group Discussions, Net Surfing and Writing. You can connect with him On Facebook.