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What are some characteristics of smart people

They understand that they are (and you are) human. You would (very) rarely ever hear a smart person telling you — to be positive — or giving you those peculiar (short sighted) comments people give to others facing difficulties. A (subjective) hallmark I use, is finding out how one reacts when asked one of life’s important questions.

Why do you do the things you do? For instance.
A very smart person, understands that certain words have preconceived connotations to them and learns to differentiate between how they feel about the question asked (or the specific words used) and the question asked. Hence, they answer profoundly, after thinking deeply about the question.

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When engaged in discourse, a smart person is one that would rarely go outside the context of discourse to prove a point. Ad hominem for instance, is a fairly common occurrence when people are engaged in discourse. In fact, some smart people use the discourse as a means of evaluating their beliefs against other views, to avoid falling into the pitfalls of confirmation bias or other similar biases.

Some understand that life is a game but the smart sees even deeper; they acknowledge that the game is goalless because, in the end nobody wins. There’s no point to competing against others when one’s life can end in a single instant, by a single accident or phenomenon.

Most people are surprised by evil acts or deeds. Smart people are surprised by acts of great good because they understand the resolve it takes to do such. By nature, we seek fulfilment and pleasure, at the expense of others, which means, lying so you don’t feel bad about yourself, even when one understands that it’s at the other persons expense. Killing someone because, you were wronged by society to make you feel like you are important and you have control, at the expense of the life you have taken. In contrast, to be a good person is to take on suffering personally, to suffer so the relationship works, to decide to live for a cause knowing fully well that it’ll be difficult, yet doing it anyways, because you believe in the right thing, now that takes real guts and should be surprising as opposed to what we listen to in the news everyday.

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Such characteristics act like a mirror to others, hence, when a person sees someone doing the right thing, they find something to justify why they are the way they are— good people can never make it in this world — and other such notions. One needs a certain amount of intelligence to be able to introspect on such inconvenient topics, hence, the capacity to be deep, is a very reliable measure of a person who is smart.

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