I was once struggling with a dog I had to take care of. I forget the exact circumstances.
It was a very spoiled dog and a very expensive dog. As we struggled, I saw a look in its eyes.
The expression said, “I am trying to outsmart a human being.” He knew he couldn’t do that.
When I was in recovery from drug addiction, my use of speed had reduced my IQ to 100. I suddenly was not smart anymore. Thank God that reverses itself. My IQ is back up.
But that experience made me I realize what it feels like not to be smart.
I got terrified of smart people.
If you know someone is smarter than you, you are defenseless. How can you figure out what someone who is smarter than you may be doing?
I had been scared the same way when I worked in prisons. I was smarter than the prisoners, but the prisoners had nothing to think about, day and night, but how to outsmart me, how to do me harm.
You never know when you offend a prisoner. And if you do, he thinks about nothing else. In his world, he is smarter than you are.
Reading a biography of Teddy Roosevelt, I was struck by one comment:
He was out West. He did all the work the other cowboys did, and more. But the one thing he never understood was the humiliating, gut-wrenching fear the other cowboys had.
Roosevelt never understood the fear of being without MONEY. That is special, a terror that unmans you.
There is another, similar fear. That is the terror of being without SMARTS.
The petrifying fear most people live with is that someone else knows something they don’t.
What can smart people do to you?
But in the real world, they can humiliate you.
I’ve been endangered by prisoners.
I’ve been shot at. A lot.
I’ve risked my life a lot.
Humiliation is worse. But I’ve been humiliated again and again.
I asked for it. So I took it. It was part of my lonely fight for our cause.
I’ve been outsmarted and I’ve learned to deal with it. I’ve been humiliated and I’ve dealt with it.
It’s all part of the same fight.
A Medal of Honor is no substitute for MORAL courage. The same guy who won a Medal of Honor will sell his buddies out if it keeps him from losing his rank or his dignity.
If you believe in what you are doing, you have to stick it ALL out there and take a chance on getting it shot off.
And what are you sticking it out there FOR?
You can easily stick it out there for some quote from some Book. If you are quoting some Book, you are hiding behind what some Very Smart Person said.
I am a free-born American. Each time I hear someone quote a book I feel betrayed.
Each time you take a stand for what YOU believe, for what YOUR prejudices tell you, you could be wrong, you could be humiliatingly wrong. You have no Book to back you.
The ultimate courage is standing for what YOU think is right.
“We the People of the United States of America….”
That’s not a Book.
And all of my fears, all of my humiliations, have been because of what **I** – Robert W. Whitaker, Esquire – thought was right. No books, no Authorities, no fall-back.
It is a great and lonely thing to be a free-born American.