Tue 06/25/13 at 10:28 am

I can look a friend or family member in the eye, and say, matter-of-factly and without flinching, “I am really smart.” Yet, just the thought of posting such a statement to the world wide web causes me to wince. It feels, at best, arrogant, at worst, really arrogant. The audacity felt by some at such a declaration is nearly palpable, sending a shudder through certainly the  Norwegian Lutheran members of my audience. As a group, we have rules to which there must be strict adherence. One of these rules prohibits an individual from any sort of self-praise unless it is accompanied by some sort of negation expression in the form of a self-depracating tone or gesture.

Well, I too, have rules. Some of these rules are specifically directed to breaking free from living what I best describe as a shame-based existence. One way I realized I could do this was to promise myself that if I wrote a Walking Raven post, I would publish it, no matter how flushed I became at the thought of doing so. In keeping with this promise then, I’m here to tell you all, “I am really smart.” There, I’ve said (so have I done) it. Anyone else out there care to give it a try? If you do, I’m fairly certain your  heart rate, like mine, will eventually return to normal. If you’re not yet ready for prime time, then go stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye and see if you can say it and mean it to the person returning your gaze.

next post: The Comeback


  1. I assume that if I say “I’m really smart,” I’ll soon — if not immediately — offer evidence to the contrary. And it’s all relative. I’ve always hung around with people smarter than I am. Nevertheless, I don’t have this “shame” background, so congrats. peace, mjh

    Comment by mark justice hinton — June 25, 2013 #

  2. I can be really smart one minute and really stupid the next. The two are not mutually exclusive. If at some point I am stupid, I am not branded as stupid for life. In truth, I’m somewhat confused by your statement. Are you saying that even if you are really smart you won’t say you are because the the moment you do you’ll do something stupid? Even if this were to occur, does that really detract from how smart you were about something a few minutes before? On my list of things to pursue is what is regarded as a major cultural difference between East and West. I am told those raised in the Eastern tradition have a difficult time understanding the low self-esteem evidenced by so many of us in the West.

    Comment by cko — June 25, 2013 #

  3. I am really smart. I am not as smart as you are. Does that make you really, really smart?

    I wish that I could say I had put it to good use.

    Comment by Laraine — June 26, 2013 #

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