Being dumb is not bad
By Julia Fernandes
July 12, 2012

Many years back while I was working in a small company as a Research Assistant, I would often goof up when dealing with accounting figures. I really had no head (and I still don’t do) for accounting and anything to do with numbers and calculation. I used to sit directly behind my colleague who would often get irritated by my inability to calculate properly. One day, I overheard him telling the peon (office help boy), obviously referring to me, in our local language -- Hindi, “Tubelight hain, woh bhi kaisa, jiska starter kharab ho!” 

In India, tubelight is often referred to a person who is dumb. So, what he meant was that I am not an ordinary tubelight but one where the starter also is not working! Till today, whenever I have to amuse myself, I remember my colleague’s comment and enjoy a good laugh at my own self.

God has made all of us. When we admire intelligence, we are admiring what God created in us. So, why should we then look down upon dumbness which is also a God-given attribute? What we see as dumbness, God sees it as innocence. The most endearing quality of human nature is not one which is programmed according to the standards of the world, but of one that comes spontaneously, even if it implies doing things that come across as stupid in human eyes.

Recently, I was asked to remove Profit and Loss account (P&L A/c) printouts in excel sheet. The data was of two years. So, despite my best efforts, I could not remove the whole excel sheet in one page with a readable view. Exasperated, I removed part printouts (4 printouts in landscape mode) and at the advice of my boss, I earnestly pasted it all together. After pasting all four pages, it resembled like a school chart paper project. It was only when I carried this office-made chart paper in my boss’s cabin and saw his reaction did I realize what a stupid thing I did. I am sure in all his life he has never seen a P&L A/c in giant mode!

I was asked to make some changes in this same P&L A/c. My director asked me to add the depreciation figure. At the back of my mind, I knew that depreciation is always deducted, but I thought to myself, “No, Julia, this world is becoming increasingly topsy-turvy. Maybe, the same applies to the accounting world.” Fortunately, better sense prevailed and my director detected the error and promptly asked me to less deprecation. I could not help but laugh at myself. 

It is ok if you are not intelligent, it is ok if you goof up, make silly mistakes. For just as God’s divinity is reflected in our intellect, God’s divinity is equally reflected in our dumbness. Never berate yourself if you did or say something stupid. Enjoy your dumbness as and when it manifests in your life and accept and feel good about your whole self for that is the way God has made us, loves us and accepts us.