Jews have been called everything under the sun except for one thing:
In capitalist countries, we were called communist. In communist countries, we were called capitalist. In poor countries, we are accused of being miserly. In rich countries, we are accused of being greedy. In war mongering countries, we are “peace lovers,” in peace loving countries we are, “war profiteers.” There is only one thing we have never been accused of being: dumb.
In an office environment, our advantage can be a double-edged sword. Unless you have even more charisma than raw intelligence, you become a target for people to resent you and look for a place to insert the knife. Your job becomes twice as hard, especially in a world where only 15% of your success is determined by how hard you work. When someone too smart does something well, his co-workers say, “What did you expect?” When he does the smallest thing wrong, they say “If he cannot handle centering the title properly on his 100-page report on optimizing expenses, how can we trust him with anything?” This is business.
In Israel it is a lot harder to be the smartest person in the room. Everyone is either as smart as you, sharper, or not as smart as you but by an insignificant degree. When someone who is smart is forced into such an environment, three things happen: one, he has to work on his people skills. If he was lazy, or stupid enough to think that his high IQ can compensate for his low EQ (Emotional Quota – people skills) – he has to wake up and wake up fast. He will develop new social skills as a matter of survival.
Two, he will not be resented, or made a target of because he is no longer smarter than everyone else. It is easier to like him so the good things he does can be better appreciated by everyone else, and the mistakes he makes can be forgiven with greater ease. Three, he will work even harder in everything he does to catch up with everyone else, because there are now people in the race he has to push himself to keep up with. As a result, he will constantly be improving.
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