I think I'm pretty intelligent––but I can also be a bit absent-minded. The things that slip my mind... you just wouldn't believe.
After Redditor WallsdownWindowsup asked the online community, "When did you realize you're not as intelligent as you thought you were?" people shared their stories.
After reading these, you'll feel suitably humbled.
"I had it very easy..."
First year of uni.
I had it very easy in HS, I was one of the lucky bastards who could ace everything with minimal effort, scored in the 99th percentile in my country's equivalent of the SAT's, etc.
And then that first year of engineering just took a big ol' crap on everything I thought about myself, lol. It was a pretty humbling experience.
"I have trouble..."
I have trouble opening doors that have "pull" written on them.
"Half of the people there..."
I entered university. Half of the people there are smarter and/or had a better education, and the other half is equally smart as you. Really makes you realize how small your world was.
I tried getting out of the car with my seatbelt on yesterday.
"I can't say..."
When I realize how much there was to learn. There's so much to learn, and not even our greatest geniuses can ever hope to know even a hundredth of it.
That being said, my arrogance and pride in my intelligence is still present, now accompanied by my frustration with how idiotic some people are.
I can't say I was a pessimist before the pandemic, but seeing everything that went down this year? It reminds me of the revelation I had in my teenage years. Being an adult does not lead to maturity or wisdom.
Trying to live in the real world after growing up very sheltered. The shock is like jumping into a pool of ice water. There are many things I thought I knew how to do that I was actually doing completely wrong. I'm learning though.
"Why is there..."
Learned I spelled "raspberry" wrong all my life.
Why is there a "p" in the spelling and I can't even look at the fruit the same way. It's like it's a whole new food item to me and I can't stop thinking about it.
"I couldn't figure out..."
I'm a software dev, and I thought I was fairly intelligent. I couldn't figure out how to disconnect a U-haul trailer from my truck the other day when dropping it off.
"When I realized..."
When I realized I couldn't just skate through my microbiology final exam. Every other class I'd been able to put in minimum effort and cruise through with B's and C's, and straight A's in my English classes. But I flunked micro, and it really made me realize my whole approach to life was wrong.
"My two previous bosses..."
I recently got a new boss. My two previous bosses came to me for a lot. I was good at my job and felt like a valuable part of the team. My new boss comes to me and gives me tasks I don't understand. I feel like my job has moved beyond me.
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Parents love to brag about their kids, and who could blame them?
If their pride and joy wins a school art contest or places first at a sporting event, any accolade warrants boasting rights.
But what if kids are so extremely proud of their own accomplishments, big or small, and want to go around and exaggerate their victories, who are we to hold them back?
Curious to hear from parents who witnessed questionable moments exhibited by their very confident children, Redditor donut_pickle asked:
"Parents of Reddit, what is the best 'weird flex but ok' moment you've seen from your child?"
Where kids and potty are concerned, it's a winning combo that makes for lively conversations.
"When my kids was potty training, he was in a phase where he loved temporary tattoos. We used tattoos as a reward for a successful potty trip. He got so he was covered on both arms, back and chest. We didn't think much of it, living in Seattle, until one summer day we took him to the wading pool. For one of the first times in public, we took his shirt off, and he strode out into the pool with his toddler abs, and Thomas the tank train shorts, looking like he had just finished a hard set of reps at the free weights in the prison yard."
Potty Like Daddy
"When my son was about two and a half, we thought it would be a good idea to start potty training him. We sat him down, talked to him explaining to him when he pees/poops in the potty he can a reward. He was less than thrilled. It was pretty clear he was not interested."
"We start the process of putting him on the potty, every morning, at regular intervals, etc. After 2 days, he hasn't done anything on the potty, with the added bonus of not having ANY bowel movements, at all (and this kid was REGULAR). After 4 days we begin to panic, prune juice, oatmeal, apple juice, anything to get him to poop."
"At day 5, we are at the Dr.s, who tells us to use suppositories. You guys we gave him suppositories for 3 nights, still nothing! Day 10 rolls around and we're thinking it's time for the hospital,he's got a blockage, he's sick, something is seriously wrong here! Take him to the Dr, one last time before the hospital."
"This time we see a different Dr, who looks at us and asks if we are potty training him, we shake our heads yes, wondering why it matters, since he hasn't even pooped for 10 DAYS! He barely needs a diaper, let alone a potty. He kind of smiles and says, 'well, stop.'"
"He told us that he thought that the potty training was causing him to hold his bowel movements. And that when he was ready to be potty trained, he would let us know. Sceptical, but willing to give it a shot, instead of the hospital we went back home. We made a big show of putting the potty chair up, and told him that if he pooped, he could have any toy in Target (we were desperate!) and no more potty training....... ---20 minutes later he took the biggest sh*t of his little life, and we took our weary, but, relieved a**es to Target to buy him his dream toy. ---A Hotwheels Carwash. Best $29.99 we ever spent. ---3 months later he wakes up, says 'I want to go potty like Daddy' and has been potty trained ever since."
"My daughter (3) can poop in the back yard without anyone knowing. I picked it up for weeks wondering why the dog's poop looked so weird. I looked out of the sliding glass door one day while my girls were playing. I saw my 3 year old pooping in the middle of the yard. Her older sister (5) sprayed her with the water house as soon as the log hit the ground. It was a spectacular scene, and I will never let them forget it."
Kids exerting their superiority like this is adorable.
"While leaving a family gathering, my cousin asked my little boy for a fist bump. My child refused, cousin said 'come on, why no fist bump?' My kid, 5 at the time, looks him straight in the eye and says 'I don't want to break every bone in your arm'."
Like A True Champ
"My 7 y/o daughter didn’t want our houseguests to go in her room because that might see her awards (good grades, tae kwon doe belts). She worried they would think she was famous."
Dinner On The Floor
"When my son was about 6, he was in the back seat with a friend, and he boasted that he had once thrown up his entire Chinese dinner on his bedroom carpet and you could see the food and everything."
"My oldest told me she used to control me from the inside when she was in my tummy."
Confidence at a young age is a good thing...to an extent.
"When my brother was two or three he rolled down the car window to get the attention of the gas station attendant and shouted 'hey mister, I got a penis!' He had a mullet, if that helps paint a better picture."
Voice Of Reason
"My 5 year-old son woke up with his voice hoarse from a cold."
"Me: oh, you’ve got a cold."
"Him, solemnly: no, I think i’m a man now."
At seven years old, I bragged about my dancing ability at a Christmas party, even though I've never taken a dance class or busted a move that resembled any sort of technique.
I don't know where the impulse to demonstrate my moves came from, but there I was–up on a stage of the venue where the party was held–and boogey-ing the night away without a care in the world.
I remember seeing my gobsmacked parents, nervously clapping and wondering what was wrong with me.
We didn't find out until later, but the punch bowl I kept getting refills from was, you guessed it, spiked...with what must've been gallons of rum.
That magic juice fueled my dancing shoes, non-stop, for about an hour, I was told.
I remain grateful this was years before the advent of social media and blackmail footage available for all to see. I'm more grateful my liver didn't shrivel up and did me in that night.
Sometimes, we truly never know how lucky we are.
Particularly when we might be disappointed to have missed out on something, only to learn after the fact that it was something of a miracle we did.
As the saying goes, we "dodged a bullet".
This could be for something trivial, like being late for a concert owing to traffic, only to find out it was a real stinker, or having to cancel a trip, only to discover how terrible the weather was the whole time you would have been there.
In other cases, the bullet you dodged may have been an actual life or death situation.
"What was the biggest bullet you dodged?"
"My dad was a truck driver in the oilfield in Canada."
"He worked a lot of long hours and every single day."
"So on weekends he would bring me and my younger brother on some of his jobs."
"We were on location and my little brother, 3 yrs, and me, 10 yrs, were waiting for him playing in cab of truck."
"My little brother opened the passenger door and my little arms closed it."
"Jobs done, we start our trek home going about 35 km/hr and the door flies open and I get sucked out of truck."
"I remember doing about 10 back flips as I tumbled out."
"Hitting the ground on my back a few times and rolling my way to a stop."
"I stood up before the truck was even stopped in absolute shock."
"Next thing I see my dad looking for me and he burst into tears."
"First time I ever seen him cry."
"I’m 33 now and he still won’t talk to me about it."
"Luckily the rig was in a farmers field."
"So when we were leaving I landed on softer dirt."
"Not a single scratch on me."
"Dad thought he ran over me with trailer."
"Don’t think we ever went to work with dad again."
"I work for the company now."- Paydayson
"Years ago I lived in Vancouver and liked to go for long walks, beautiful city to do so."
"I was heading to a friends first to drop something off and and cut through a neighborhood with a lot of south east asian immigrants, the ones I got to talk to were mostly from Vietnam."
"I was aware of a van behind me but it was mid day and there were people out, so it was only a passing thought."
"A lady was working in her garden and as I approached her house she started to look behind me."
"Then she came out onto the side walk and started talking to me in her native language."
"I understood none of it but her body language was agitated."
"She kept gesturing to me to come with her up their walkway."
"As I looked behind me I see three men getting out of the van, which is now parked just behind me."
"By this point the woman has a good grip on my arm and and has me dragged almost to her porch."
"She kept talking to me and pointing to stuff in her garden and i just listened, nodded, and kept a good eye on the men and van."
"I don't remember how long we were there but the men finally left."
"Both myself and the woman let out huge sighs of relief."
"She then patted me on the arm, said something, and then went back to her gardening."
"I booted it to my friends house."
"On the news the next day was the story of a woman who was kidnapped."
"The victim was grabbed on the next street over from the woman's house, not long after my encounter with her, by 5 men in a van."
"The men were distinctive and the description of the men and van fit the ones I had see."
"That woman saved me from something horrible and I am forever thankful."- grainia99
Near Fatal Illness
:A few years ago I had pneumonia, but my whole family insisted that it was just post nasal drip, which runs in the family."
"After a week or two I woke up in the middle of the night when I couldn't feel my arm."
"After I got to the ER the doctor said that it was the worst he'd ever seen and he was surprised I wasn't dead."
"I had 3 lbs of mucus cut out of my lungs and another two weeks in the hospital siphoning out the rest."
"For three months afterwards I could barely walk half a mile without starting to pass out and I still can't run for more than 200-300 yards without collapsing."- Deadthrow742
Near Fatal Collision
"Around 30,000 pounds."
"I was driving with my wife in town one snowy evening and we had pulled up to a stop light."
"I happened to glance up at the rear view mirror and saw a city bus heading towards us."
"And rotating sideways."
"I hit the gas and pulled ahead into the intersection and left into the turning lane, and less than a second later, the bus went sliding through right where our car was."
"It came to a stop on the other side of the intersection and fortunately didn't hit anything, but one second or two feet difference and we would've had some nice spinal injuries."- LackingUtility
Barely Safe Landing
"Many years ago, my flight had just landed at Chicago O'hare and the plane was taxiing when the pilot suddenly slammed on the brakes."
"People were literally thrown forward against the seat in front of them."
"A few seconds later, another plane, taking off I think, went screaming by right in front of us."
"No explanation was given, though our imaginations provided a lot of gory details."- khendron
Timing Is everything
"Not changing jobs in early 2020."
"Would have been a short lived promotion after early restructuring and layoffs."- LegallyBodacious
We all find ourselves wondering "what if" regarding certain choices we've made in our lives.
It's never helpful to look back with regret.
Instead, one should only be grateful for avoiding the many wrong turns our lives could have easily taken.
Teachers are often regarded as heroes.
Though they might not possess superpowers, or put their lives in danger on an ongoing basis, teachers have a way of influencing the lives of others in ways they can never imagine.
Of course, there are teachers who do literally save lives.
As they are the teachers who help students who are being abused at home out of toxic and dangerous situations.
Doing so without ever being explicitly told, but rather by noticing their students behavior, or reading between the lines in their work.
"Teachers of reddit, what are some signs that a student is being abused or lives in a toxic environment?"
Flinching At The Slightest Moment
"It's been a few years, but I had an incident/situation that stuck with me."
"My students were working on something, probably solving density equations, and one guy came up to ask for help."
"I was standing near my whiteboard but had left my favorite Expo marker on the cart that held my projector/laptop."
"So I reached around him to grab the marker and show him on the board how to figure out the problem."
"Hey, if one kid is struggling with a problem, there's usually several more that haven't asked."
"Anyway, when I reached, he flinched."
"Arms over his head."
"Eyes tight shut."
"As if he just knew I was going to hurt him."
"I kept him after class and we talked."
"Lots of tears, not just his."
"He showed me bruises on his back."
"I notified my principal that I'd need someone to cover my next class, and called DCS, what most states call CPS."
"He was placed in a foster home and his father was arrested."
"He missed a few days and came back."
"He wasn't instantly better, which would make for a better story, but by the end of the school year, I could see he was a little more confident, a little happier."
"This was around 10 years ago. I often wonder what happened to him."- AZScienceTeacher
Not So Subtle "Ticks"
"I developed a 'tick'."
"For years, I would rip out all my eyebrows and eyelashes."
"Half the time I didn’t realize that I was doing it, because I lived with my abuser and was so stressed out and terrified ALL the time."
"When I was 17, I finally moved in with a friend to get away from them, and people started telling me they 'knew all along' that something was wrong, but no one ever said anything."
"No one ever took action, even when I tried to come forward on multiple occasions."
"I’m begging you guys- if you see something, say something."- aliveanewbeginagain
"From my experience teaching middle schoolers for the last decade."
"They smell, particularly of cigarette smoke, weed, or just general, unbearable, BO."
"They either NEVER miss a day, when it’s clear they should because they’re obviously sick, or they miss school at least 2 times a week, because their parents can’t be bothered to get them there."
"They either avoid adults like the plague, will literally run away from any authority figure, or are very clingy to adults."
"And on the more extreme end are things like wetting themselves, sign of sexual abuse, and showing a severe lack of empathy."- coreythebuckeye
Knowing And Saying Things Children Shouldn't...
"Physical abuse think of kids who get normal bumps and scrapes."
"Then think of areas that would be difficult."
"Inner arms and legs, torso, back etc."
"Also if you ask a child 'oh how did you get that bruise, it looks sore' usually they'll tell you some huge story about how they were playing some game with their siblings, and they tried to do x and then fell and did this etc."
"Abused children will try to shut down the conversation."
"Say its not sore, doesn't hurt, not that bad, was an accident."
"You won't find out how it happened."
"Are they regressing in toileting, night time or day time wetting etc."
"Do they have an aversion to a place, person or certain day."
"Perhaps on Tuesdays they go to a friends house so they only display this behavior sometimes."
"As parents do they suddenly hate a place they used to love."
"Abusers will try to get children to trust them."
"To want to be praised by them."
"Sometimes that's a 'you're so mature for your age shall we go do x together that's your favourite right' now x is tarnished."
"As a parent you're wondering why they don't want to do this with you."
"Sleeping patterns may change."
"Especially if they don't feel safe at all times when they should have a place they can relax."
"Children may become hypersexualised."
"Know more than you'd expect for their age."
"Children can become very controlling of their bodies."
"Not wanting touched, assisted with changing, to wear certain clothes."
"Please early on ensure children know boundaries and if someone touches them or asks them to watch an area usually covered by underwear to tell a trusted adult."
"Not all abuse is a child being physically touched."
"Not all abuse is done by adults, it can be older children and teenagers."
"I've worked in nurseries, after school clubs, schools, summer camps, I've been a sports coach, a babysitter, a private tutor, a teaching assistant in schools."
"I've spent days with social work and police and now work in healthcare."
"You'll spot signs everywhere."
"You may be a member of the public walking in a store and see something that worries you."
"As many people are saying in the comments you might be the trusted friend hearing about a child in potential risk."
"Know how to report concerns, who you tell and how you escalate something."
"Know how to listen to a child without prompting and how to record the conversation on paper incase your statement is used to build a case."
"Also know reporting concerns doesn't mean someone will immediately be arrested on your thoughts."
"A case has to be investigated, social work/ child protective services and police will conduct joint investigations to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed."- koig1314
"If a student doesn't care about content and doesn't seem happy about getting a good grade, just relieved."
"I've seen students almost breakdown when earning a poor grade on an assessment knowing the pending verbal/psychological abuse coming."
"One student, living with his father and 6 hours from his mother, was sworn at and told he wouldn't see his mother for Christmas because he had a C."
"The kid cried in my classroom after school and poured his heart out about not having seen his mom for 3 months."
"Berating a child and withholding seeing his other parent for a grade?"
"High expectations are great."
"High expectations without support, however, in this case, emotional. put undue stress on students, resulting in a cycle of anxiety that can permeate their lives."- chewbaccalaureate
Teacher or not, if you notice something off with someone you know, always say something.
Sometimes, even just knowing there is someone willing to listen can provide more help than you can possibly imagine.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault, help is out there. You can reach the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 1-800-656-4673, use their Live Chat tool: https://www.rainn.org/get-help, or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
In Canada, help is available through the Ending Violence Association of Canada website.
International resources can be found through the Rape Crisis Network Europe website.
Ever think about how even the smallest of actions can have significant consequences in life?
This notion of unpredicable consequences is typically known as the Butterfly Effect, which is defined as causing a non-linear impact on complex systems.
Strangers online shared their examples of the Butterfly Effect when Redditor SidneyRL asked:
"What's the craziest butterfly effect that happened to you because of a small decision you made?"
These Redditors wouldn't be here today were it not for the Butterfly Effect.
It Started With A Potty Decision
"Decided I would rather use my bathroom than a portapotty. Found my wife cheating, she attempted suicide, I moved multiple states away. In the 7 years since I have made nothing but positive changes and went from $18/hour laborer to a well respected person in my profession making 6 figures. I'd probably still be working that dead-end job."
"Aside from that, without recounting all the details; I went to see a doctor about a splinter from chopping firewood, 6 months later they removed most of my kidney with Renal Cell Carcinoma. Without the splinter I'd likely be dead from kidney cancer."
What Would've Been A Fatal Appointment Date
"I had to call my heart surgeon to give him my new insurance #s (I had only just gotten them because the person who had them had the flu and was not getting back to me) as soon as I got my numbers, I called surgeon - the receptionist said, 'oh, hey, we just had a cancelation for this Friday, do you want it?' Of course I wanted to get it over and not wait another month. decided to take the open heart surgery cancelation appointment (a month before my actual appointment), and well, surgeon said that thank goodness I did because once he got a look inside, he realized I would not have survived to the original appointment date."
"So, if the insurance lady didn't have the flu, I would have gotten those numbers a lot sooner, and never gotten the offer to have the surgery when I did."
"Someone else's flu saved my life."
Broken Guitar Strings
"So a few years back, I lived in Nice (South of France) for a while. As a musician I would make a bit of extra cash busking, and one day, I figured I'd go and busk at the promenade 'd'anglais by the sea. It's usually packed, and it just a generally pleasant place to be. I set up, played a couple of songs and was doing pretty well and making a decent amount of money. Then suddenly not one, but two of my guitar strings snapped (I even remember I was playing 'The Scientist' at the time)."
"I was massively gutted and decided to cut my losses early. I stormed off home (by the station) in a bit of a sulk at having to re-string my guitar and cutting short what was essentially one of my most productive days of busking since moving there. Literally one hour later, my phone starts to blow the f**k up with family and friends freaking out and asking if I was at the promenade."
"It was Bastille Day, 2016. The truck drove into the same crowd I was playing to, killing 86 people, including my at-the-time gf's uncle. I had two other friends who were amongst the 458 injured. I moved home the next month because it was too much, and haven't been back since."
"It's hard to explain, sometimes I think I was super lucky, sometimes I just kind of cry and wonder why I was lucky and others weren't. It's surreal, and despite what people think... it's a truly horrible feeling."
"Edit: I'm overwhelmed by the support of people. I will be getting therapy and hopefully in time I'll be able to return to Nice as it was one of my favourite places on earth. Take care of yourselves and if you've been through something similar, it looks like help is out there. Thank you all"
"I spilled my coffee. I work in a bank and you learn never to do that, all the papers and files. You also learn to place it far enough away so it doesn't fill out anything if it does spill. I worked in finance for many years. It was 8: 43 in the morning and I figured I had enough time to get downstairs and get another cup and come back up before 9:00. So I went to the elevator bank. Waited for the elevator to come, It took a long time. Got in the elevator went down to the ground floor. I had my hand on the door leading outside to Liberty Street just as the first plane hit the first World Trade Center building on 9/11."
Love found a way thanks to these inconsequential circumstances.
Endings And New Beginnings
"Made a last minute decision to go to a friend's divorce party and met my wife."
"I decided to invite my chem lab partner to lunch on the first day of college, just to be friendly and try to make more than 1 friend at school. We met up with the only other friend I'd made at school so far. He thought my lab partner was cute, invited himself to hang out with her, and then fell in love with her roommate instead. He ended up married to the roommate - they've been together for 22 years and have 2 children."
"In high school I took an intermediate biology course. I had never done biology before but was good at science generally so I thought the intermediate course would be a good fit."
"My science teacher of a couple year previous happened to walk into my class to talk to the biology teacher and she spotted me in the class."
"She asked me what grades I had got the previous year. I told her and she nodded and left. A minute later she came back in and asked me to gather my belongings and leave the class. I was pretty sure I was in trouble for something I couldn’t recall."
"She led me to another classroom and sat me down on an empty chair. Then she just started teaching. Turns out that she was running the advanced class that year and just decided to steal me as a student."
"I went on the take biology at undergrad level, and then a masters. I ended up doing a PhD in immunology and now work as an advisor for Pharma companies."
"It gets better though. I decided I wanted to do my masters in London, and met a girl on the way. We are now 10 years in and own a house together."
"All that because that teacher happened to look in my direction."
The Ultimate Prize
"Watched ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ and got so annoyed at the candidates not knowing a simple question about Katy Perry, that I applied. Got in. Got to play. Won a lot of money. Booked a holiday to a dream destination with that money. Met my husband there. We now have a 1 year old son :)"
You never truly know what's around the corner. Like, a family member you never knew existed.
"I had to renew the sticker on my license plate a couple of years ago and really didn't feel like sitting in the waiting room by myself forever so I told my mom I'd take her out to dinner after if she came with me.. The guy working at the counter turned out to be my moms long lost biological brother. If she hadn't come with me I would have never known."
"My husband- He found out after 18 years that his moms side of the family was Spanish, not Mexican. He found this interesting and changed his country to 'Spain' on MySpace instead the US where he really was. Meanwhile in Australia, I was helping my friend find Spanish people to add as a friend as she was learning the language. I came across my now husband and decided to send him a friend request as well. We got along really well and met in person after 3 years. Have been together 11 years, married for 7. If he didn’t change his country to Spain (and only for a day or so) we’d never know each other existed."
Influential Reading Choice
"When I was in 8th grade (13 years old) I had a really long bus ride home so would pass the time by reading. One day I faced the very serious situation of nothing to read and a minute to grab something in the library, and for whatever reason I grabbed a book on astronomy. That book was amazing and grabbed me like nothing else had before. I remember being excited to realize every astronomer on Earth was 13 years old once too, and that was a career you could actually do, even if you were from Pittsburgh."
"Anyway, today I am a professional astronomer who studies gigantic space explosions for a living. There was a lot of work to get from that moment to this one, but I’m always grateful that I picked up that library book!"
When the smallest of changes lead to unpredictable and major consequences in life, it makes one wonder if there are such things as trivial acts.
The world just got more confusing.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/