How to be book and street smart

book-1568672There are two kinds of people in life. And no, I am not referring to coffee and tea drinkers. If I was referring to them I would have started with; there are humans and then there are sub humans. 

Just kidding.

Tea drinkers are ok. I have an Aunt who is one.

The two kinds of people are book smart and street smart. For those of you who are not too smart in either sense and don’t know about these kinds of ‘smart’, allow me to explain.

a) Book smart.

These people like books. They like to use big words and knowing their meaning and context is often irrelevant, especially when speaking to a street smart person.

Book smart people understand the world only through how it should be, not how it is currently functioning, which means they don’t really understand the world at all.

They drink tea.

b) Street smart.

This group of humans know how to fight and their fighting skills are usually acquired at the local drinking hole after making the bad decision to switch from beer to spirits.

Street smart people understand the world on a superficial level, but because the world is a superficial place, they actually do understand the world.

So, there you have it. Two types of people in a nut shell.

Assuming you can only be one or the other, which one would you want to be? Which is the more important of the two? Would you be more impressed by someone who had actually finished War and Peace, or by someone who could climb a tree and kill a zombie, preferably at the same time.

Who works harder? And don’t try to tell me that any physical job is harder than reading War and Peace.

These are all trick questions. The answer is you want to be both. You want to be able to go to the pub and get in a fight whilst using big words to commentate the fight you are about to win.

Anyone who is either type of smart has been watching The Walking Dead and making mental notes on how to survive the zombie apocalypse. I can’t see book smart being as useful in surviving the apocalypse as street smart unless War and Peace can be used as a weapon, or, has a section on zombies. 

I haven’t read it so I couldn’t say.

The education system is under fire because it reflects the polarity of the two kinds of smart. Teachers are being made to make fish climb trees and we all know that trees can give you splinters. If you could merge the two kinds of smart into one you would be miles ahead. Our murray cod’s would be climbing trees all over the place and that, my friends, is smart.

Yet increasingly it seems we can’t be both types of smart. Or perhaps we can but one is always valued over the other. Steve Jobs didn’t have a degree and he is a pretty successful guy and I have a friend who has a doctorate in Anthropology and she is not exactly making Steve Jobs kind of money, so the point (making the point again here for the street smart) is to be both kinds of smart. This is the way of the future, this is the only way to earn money and be proud of yourself for earning money. 

So, how can you be both kinds of smart? It’s simple. You need to finish reading War and Peace and be able to use it to survive the zombie apocalypse, probably by using it as a weapon. You need to be both a tea drinker and a coffee drinker. Play to the people around you, switch from one type to the other. 

Most importantly, be a fish that climbs trees. 

If you have are one or the other, or you have been able to become both, leave a comment. I’d love to hear about it.



3 thoughts on “How to be book and street smart”

  1. As one who drinks both coffee and tea, and who is an intellectual in a rough town, I see your point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *