We modern people think we’re pretty smart. We live in an age that put men on the moon, landed rovers on Mars, and fired a telescope into space that can see 13 billion lightyears into the past. We’ve created supercomputers that perform a quintillion calculations per second and electron microscopes that observe the world at an atomic level.
And yet, despite our intelligence, we can still be pretty ignorant. Our technology fools us into thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to. Instead of acting with humility about how far society has come, we’ve developed a rather smug opinion of ourselves. We’re so confident in how right we are – about pretty much everything – that we cancel anyone who disagrees with us.
But before we put our arm out of joint patting ourselves on the back, maybe we should reconsider our place in history. One hundred years from now people probably won’t consider this generation as smart as we do. Our technology and social constructs will likely seem as odd to future generations as past ideas now seem to us. Which means future Americans will most certainly judge us as harshly as we judge our ancestors.
My point is to be humble. Just because we no longer travel bumpy trails in covered wagons, that doesn’t mean we are superior to anyone – past, or present. No one is perfect.
As smart as we think we are, we’re not as smart as we think we are.