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I have dumb parents, what about yours?

  1. Jun 1, 2013 #1
    of course i am a first generation american. my parents were both peasants in their native country.

    both of them have no ability to think beyond what they were condition to believe in.

    my dad however, despite being as dumb as it gets, always attempts to teach and show other people the way, i guess it's because he was the only one of 5 siblings to had some college education. dumbass flunked out though.

    his second oldest brother, though, doesn't say much, and seems like a wise old fellow.

    i feel depressed. what are the chances that you put 2 morons together and the kid would be able to escape the dumb gene.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2013 #2
    As far as I know there hasn't been a dumb gene discovery.

    You are not tied to your parents educational fates. Now pick yourself off the ground, read a book and ask any questions you have here.
  4. Jun 1, 2013 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    To paraphrase Mark Twain:
    "When I was 15 my father was an idiot. By the time I was 21 he had gotten smarter, and when I was 35 he was really brilliant."

    I can guess where you fit, age wise.
  5. Jun 1, 2013 #4


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    I feel bad for your parents. They came to the US from a "peasantry" background and slaved themselves to provide for you (their child) and in the end all they get is a lack of respect and a lack of appreciation. Why don't you go live by yourself, without the help of your parents, and see how well you do. Then you can start thinking about insulting your parents.
  6. Jun 1, 2013 #5
    So lack of college education makes somebody a moron now? It's really sad to think like that.

    I honestly believe that you can learn something from everybody. True, it might not always be advanced science, or educated book smarts. But does that really matter so much? Your parents might be able to provide you with other things, like knowledge of how life works. You don't learn those things in a fancy college education, but through experience.

    You say your father attempts to teach others. What a perfectly nice thing to do to try to help others. And you thank him by calling him a moron and a dumbass. How ungrateful you are.
  7. Jun 1, 2013 #6

    George Jones

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    There is a vast difference between "uneducated" and "not intelligent". Both of my parents lacked formal education, but both were very intelligent.

  8. Jun 1, 2013 #7
    So you have that much resentment towards your parents simply because you believe they posses low intelligence? You may find your father foolhardy, but he is only trying to help. You shouldn't hate him for that reason. Does he physically or verbally abuse you? If not, you should be happy that he is simply around.

    My grandfather only went to the sixth grade and he isn't a dumb person. Frankly he's brilliant when it comes to natural intelligence and his skills, in respect to mechanics, are well above mine. His son only had a high school education yet managed to score in the 99% of the math portion of the SAT. Both men were successful providers for their families, despite not advancing very far in the educational system.

    Your parents seem to have had rough lives, where do you get off speaking so poorly of them? While you're sitting here obsessing over your intelligence, they are probably still stressing about bringing food to the table. You seriously need to grow up.
  9. Jun 1, 2013 #8


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    I had an argument with my father a little while ago and the position he was taking was so ludicrous that I fear it's because his mind is slowly deteriorating due to old age.

    Anyway, besides that, he doesn't have any formal education but neither does my mum, and it's quite clear that she has more of a natural ability when it comes to maths. And then you take a look at my siblings and I. I've consistently been top of my class in maths through all my years in school, yet both my younger brother and sister struggle to understand even the simple concepts when they come to me for help. They barely hit the average mark.

    If there isn't a dumb gene, then they're just lacking the smart gene.
  10. Jun 1, 2013 #9
    Say what you like about your parents, but they probably did what they thought was best in raising you, so you can be thankful for that.

    And you can borrow books from a public library for free, so in fact knowledge is free to everyone.
  11. Jun 1, 2013 #10


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    My father quit high school to join airborne in WWII. My mother came to the US knowing no English, and graduated HS at the top of her class. Neither were college educated, but they wanted me to go to college. I was the very first person in our extended family to attend college.

    Don't denigrate your family, especially if they have done all they can to help you.

    BTW, it must have been tough for my mother to get dumped into elementary school with NO English, but she rose above it. When I was a kid, her father used to come to our house at least a couple of times a month with correspondence and bills, so that she could sort all of that out and keep him up-to-date. He never learned English. He could say "hi" and pronounce my name, but that was about it.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  12. Jun 1, 2013 #11
    Sometimes when my mother and I argue, she can be a little irrational and illogical, and that upsets me. Regardless, mocking someone because they lack intelligence is absolutely absurd. Would you mock a mentally ill person for having been born with his or her traits? I would doubt it. Similarly with other natural abilities that one is destined with upon birth, that person has no say in what they deal with. And despite possibly lacking intelligence, your parents do try to provide for you, so I wouldn't be too upset.

    And if you're worried about being dumb, who cares? Simply do what you can with what you have and no one in his or her right mind can mock you.
  13. Jun 1, 2013 #12


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    You're parents might not agree, but you more than likely escaped the "dumb gene".

    Henry seems to have had second thoughts...

    In fact, Henry actually introduced the term "moron" into the field of psychology.

    He introduced other stuff, too... rather an odd fellow. IMO.


    And, probably, George said it best....

  14. Jun 1, 2013 #13


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    There have been good posts here, this one is especially wise.

    OP it sounds like you're frustrated with your family, which everyone can relate to - it's probably universal. But it also sounds like you may be setting yourself up with a convenient reason for failure.

    It's likely your parents have had difficult lives (true for a lot of immigrants; otherwise why would they leave their homeland?) But now you're in a new world, with so many possibilities. Don't look back or let yourself be anchored to the past. Your future is in your hands.
  15. Jun 1, 2013 #14


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    Lol, yeah... :approve:

  16. Jun 1, 2013 #15


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    you said they were conditioned

    so how can it be a gene? :frown:
  17. Jun 1, 2013 #16


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    Just to play devil's advocate , I think it does matter if you tend to be a person that has a thirst for intellectual challenges and you don't have any intellectual stimulation in your social circle.Of course we could tell these people: "Just change your social circle" , but changing a social circle can be one of the hardest thing to do , especially as you get older.

    OP's attitude is bad and I'm not defending him , but his message might apply to more polite and respectful individuals so I thought the opposite point-of-view was worth arguing for.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  18. Jun 2, 2013 #17
  19. Jun 2, 2013 #18


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    in 1910, mark twain died …

    but i don't have to believe it if i don't want to! o:)
  20. Jun 2, 2013 #19
    Funny you mention that because Margaret Cheney reports an incident where old, mad Tesla flagged down a boy and asked him to deliver a note to Mark Twain, who had died 25 years before.

    Tesla, to stay on topic, thought his own parents were pretty clever. He credits his penchant for invention to his mother, and his showmanship to his father.

    Apparently, though, getting back off topic, no one knows where that quote often attributed to Mark Twain actually comes from:


    I would suspect one of Twain's friends probably said it in conversation with Twain, and the first reporter of it, whom I presume was present at the conversation, misremembered Twain as having said it. Of course he wouldn't have, though, since his father died when he was eleven.
  21. Jun 2, 2013 #20


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    My grandfather was a farmer with an 8th grade education and one of the wiser men I've ever met.
  22. Jun 2, 2013 #21


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    Not relevant. In fact, it misses half of the point.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  23. Jun 3, 2013 #22
    Of course it's relevant. Attributing the quote to Mark Twain gives it a folksy wisdom it wouldn't otherwise have, and correcting the attribution makes it just something some unknown guy once said. We suppose famous authors say things better than that average person would, that their words resonate beyond their personal experience to the whole of humanity. The words of the average guy are just one guy's report of his own experience.
  24. Jun 3, 2013 #23
    Mine are intelligent and wise.

    While it is not a nice feeling to be with people that fail to behave intelligently from this society point of view I sometimes learn things from them that I know can never be found in intelligent people. There are things I know that I would have done without a doubt had I not been observing the behavior of people society considers not intelligent. By watching what happens to them and all variables in between I can choose what to do and what not to do. (I just don't watch, sometimes I interfere if I can predict the outcome and help them out).

    Now, if they begin to drag you to their fate by preventing you from learning and not let you progress then you have all the right to be frustrated. Some here will say that no such parent exist but trust me when I tell you that there exist highly authoritative parents out there who get jealous and terribly irritated when their kids show signs of progressing more than them. I have seen lots of them.

    I personally am grateful to have the parents I have.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2013
  25. Jun 6, 2013 #24
    To add to your depression, I do not feel this is a problem with genes, but rather an acquired degenerative mental illness known as the Whiners' syndrome. I feel sorry for you.

    Just so you know, parents are the biggest gifts that you can ever hope to get in life. Love them, cherish them, make them feel special. Because they are toiling all their life to keep you happy and protected. They are loving you with everything they have, without expecting anything in return. Respect that fact.

    My dad is uneducated. I have no qualms whatsoever in saying that. Why? Because I know my dad is awesome regardless of that fact. Though he has no formal education, he knows much more about plants and animals than I ever will, having been doing gardening and animal-breeding since I can remember. We have a beautiful garden in our home, full of pretty flowers, and even a mini-pond with fish in it! And it was all because of my Dad's hardwork! I can't even imagine doing a quarter of the work that he does everyday, to take care of them.

    Realize that your parents are intelligent, regardless of their literacy. They have had much more experience than you in living out life, and are quite good it, which is why you're still alive and well. And they also have skills that you probably could never even hope to achieve in your lifetime. It is downright wrong to mock them, just because they are not able to contemplate modern science, or side with all your logical views. It's not their fault; they were brought up in a different environment where opportunities of education were void and religious prejudices were prevalent. But you, most definitely are not bound by such limitations, are you? You can get yourself educated, and slowly change their way of thinking. In this respect, I often talk science with my Dad. Since he doesn't understand technical terms, I break it down to him as simple as possible, so that he too can appreciate the beauty of it. And we end up having long stimulating conversations on it, from which we both learn something new. Why don't you try something similar too, instead of insulting your parents and lamenting about how supposedly "dumb" they are?

    Bottom line: Get an attitude change, or you won't last long in this world.
  26. Jun 30, 2013 #25


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    My parents, with all their flaws, are quite intelligent. I guess I lucked out, right? Except, not really. Though my parents are quite smart, (IQ if you put any stock in that, <140 for both of them) but they're absolutely nutters. They didn't help me in school, let alone in life. Be thankful you have loving parents regardless of how smart you perceive them to be. I've worked very hard at 18+ to foster a relationship with them. For the first time in many years (since I was 7), they were able to say that they loved me. So, to me, you're the fortunate one.

    I mean this from the bottom of my heart:

    Be thankful that you had someone to hold you when you fell, to tell you stories before bed. That means a lot more than smarts ever could.

    "Tell your son to stop trying to fill your head with science — for to fill your heart with love is enough"
    Richard Feynman
    [Letter to the mother of Marcus Chown, who had been fascinated with the profile of him on the BBC show Horizon in 1981, written after Chown asked him to write her a birthday note, thinking it would help him in his attempts at trying to explain scientific things to her. Published in No Ordinary Genius : The Illustrated Richard Feynman (1996), by Christopher Simon Sykes, p. 161. This has also for several years been misquoted in a paraphrased form where Feynman is stated to have written:
    Dear Mrs. Chown, Ignore your son's attempts to teach you physics. Physics isn't the most important thing. Love is. Best wishes, Richard Feynman.
    In a audio interview on BBC 4 in September 2010, Chown himself stated that the note said: "Ignore your son's attempts to teach you physics. Physics is not the most important thing, love is." — but this appears to be a casual use of the paraphrase or summation of its contents, for published photographs of the note reveal that it is phrased as quoted above from No Ordinary Genius : The Illustrated Richard Feynman. Sourced from Wikiquote]

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