How many of you have met the book smart 4.0 summa cum laude lady who, in regard to street smarts, is a summa dumb loopy chick? What about the poor honey who is neither book nor street smart? What a shame, eh?
My goal has always been for my girls to own the twain. My wife and I have pushed our now twentysomething daughters to academic excellence; we insist that they strain their brains so they won’t sound like Matt Damon when they open their mouths.
That being said, as much as I want my little rays of sunshine to have high GPAs (not that a jiffy GPA means squat anymore given the bogus bunk being taught in school) I want them to have an equal or higher level of street smarts: what some would call a sixth sense, an otherness, a discerning spirit, a fourth dimension, or what I call a well-honed and greased BS Detector (BSD)—y’know, something that’ll make ‘em cough “bullcrap” when they hear terms like “Super Congress.”
Street smarts will give our kids the shrewdness to see through the veil of crap most guys, governments, gimmicks, gadgets, gurus and evil girlfriends live behind.
Bad dates, scum sucking politicians, marketing leeches, PR mooks, agents, corporate America, late night infomercials, televangelists, used car salesmen, and mechanics all love the gullible dolt who has a weak dung detector. Therefore, parents, one of the most important things you can ever do for your offspring is to help them become shrewd and skeptical young ‘uns who cannot be bamboozled by people, places, and politicians that seek to do them harm.
So what is BS?
You can call it bull smack, or the nicer sounding Latin term “stercore tauri,” or simply bull, horse hockey, bollocks, gobbledygook, or truthiness. Whatever you want to call it, BS can be defined as: “Communications where reality and truthfulness aren’t nearly as vital as the ability to manipulate the audience to get it to do whatever one wants done.”
As your children plow through life in paranormal times they’re going to be hit with a tsunami of sewage. As parents we must make certain our charges can deftly navigate the crap-laden rapids of our culture and come out of this thing smelling like roses.
To keep it simple, tell your children that their BS detector is essentially, as one comedian said, that little voice inside their heads telling them to listen to the little voice inside their heads. It’s an internal salvific alarm alerting them to the fact that they’re in the process of being screwed, glued and tattooed. It will be to their own detriment if they ignore this in-house salvo. If they hone and listen to it when it screams, they’ll be the wiser, safer and richer for it.