Streetsmart vs Booksmart

Topic: EntertainmentWorld News
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Last updated: April 18, 2019

It is a general belief that ‘book worms’ have little knowledge of the practical world, while those who are street smart often suffer because they do not have the grades.

Book smart people can be classified as those A-graders we envy. But is there really more to them than their grades? This debatable topic focuses on the credibility of people who are book smart, and those who are not.There are many positive aspects of being book smart. Great grades, a good reputation with teachers, colleagues, bosses; in general, an efficient environment to work or study in. In fact, students who are book smart also manage time well.

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But what happens in situations that do not require theoretical knowledge? It is here that our book smart people suffer a major blow. Most find it difficult to adjust to an independent life. Most also develop a sense of pride, which can hinder their success. In situations that require logic and practicality, most fail. They usually cannot make decisions fast enough and tend to get confused easily. In fact, many believe that A-graders are good only when it comes to exams. In practical life, they are as helpless and lost as the common man.

Being book smart gets one success and wealth, but only to a limit.This is where we talk about those who may not be seemingly intelligent or intellectual, but are actually as bright, if not more than the high achievers. Street smart people know how to handle situations well, even if they have to make sudden decisions. They also deal with people in a much more smarter and sharper way. They may not score well, but that usually does not affect their credibility.

Many also have a very well developed intuitive, agile mind, and are confident in general life. This can easily be proven because there are many famous people who have been successful without the support of a decent education. But there is a very dangerous side to being street smart. Most street smart people tend to take great risks. They are hasty and can make rash decisions.Conventionally, education was given the highest priority, without which success was a distant dream.

But times are changing. Many are realizing that talent may not be directly related to grades. Sadly, many talented people still go unnoticed. But then there are also those who shoot to fame. This is the difference between being book smart and street smart – Grades guarantee success. Skill and logic do not.What seems to be a most balanced approach seems to be a strike between both the sides. Being only book smart makes one lose the ability to judge and handle, while being only street smart means taking great risks.

One can get far in life using these tools. Book smart people do make it big, but chose to take a path that is very hard, climbing up the ladder of success step by step. Street smart people take risks, and so chose a path that may or may not lead to success.

Some may become famous overnight; others might die without leaving so much as a trace behind. But a balanced person opts for a path in between. In the world today, education is becoming more and more important. But with that education, the country is looking for intelligent young people, with flexible minds, and a broad knowledge, not just of books, but of life in general. But be it education, or logic that one has, the tool behind success is simply experience. With more and more experience, one learns more and more one’s job, and is better able to deal with its different sides and aspects.

This interesting debate was recently employed in Donald Trump’s hit reality TV show, The Apprentice. The new season took everyone by storm. A team of Ivy League high achievers was put against a team of ordinary people with no formal education.”Street-smart people may not have gotten an A+ [in school], but they handle others in an A+ manner,” says Laurie Puhn, author of Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life. “They can take an average idea, but once they gain input, support, and cooperation from others, that idea becomes extraordinary. People are interested in hearing the idea, and come to respect it [1].

“Many came to the same conclusion that those who are street smart take more risks, with much more confidence than those who are book smart. But that does not undermine the credibility of the high achievers. A good education is very important, since it forms the base of one’s career. Another factor that plays an important role is motivation.

Quoting from Zimmerman’s article in the L.A Chronicle, “In today’s competitive world, the really successful person is not only educated but also motivated [2].” One can safely conclude that formal education is important, but not more important than practical skills. A successful person will be the one who has a good, standing education to fall back on, a confident, strong personality, the ability to communicate with others well, experience and an in-depth knowledge about the job/work and lastly, the one who is motivated.

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