Changing pace here entirely. This post is more of an open question based on an observation. Consequently, it’s not as long in the hopes that the responses will be more lengthy due to less fatigue after a shorter reading.
In my experience, I have seen something of a relationship between intelligence and general outlook on the world. I say “something of” because, as I’ll detail below, it has not (from my experience) been a direct relationship (where the inverse holds equally true).
First, what I’ve observed (with the caveat that, like most observations, what I outline is not hard-and-fast nor 100% the case every time):
In general, when I meet people and get to know them, the more intelligent the person, the more likely chance that they are (or become with some frequency) at least mildly depressed. Sometimes this comes out as existential pinings, other times it’s outright withdrawal to the mind within. But, by and large, the intelligent people I’ve know almost always go through some periods of (sometimes very deep) depression.
While I don’t consider myself a rocket scientist, I think it’s fair to say that I am above-average intellectually. And I have definitely struggled with some rocky points in my life (no, this article isn’t a cry for help… no, I don’t think I’m projecting my own problems on other intelligent people).
This is not a two way street. By this I mean that the positive, chipper, happy people I’ve met are not universally stupid or even less intelligent. I’ve met some incredibly positive-minded people who’re sharper than sharp. Which brings me to the question I keep coming back to when I do meet intelligent people:
What makes them (or, us) depressed? What bogs them down when, as intelligent people, the world should be so brimming with possibilities? Is it better to live a dull-minded life – safe from the dizzying highs and lows of intellectual thinking? Is there something about intelligence that naturally evokes depression? Do less intelligent people feel equally depressed but, perhaps, do not articulate it as clearly or obviously?
I will leave it there but also add that I suspect that even the very chipper, intelligent people I have known probably have their own down times, of which I am just not aware.
Thoughts or perspective are welcome.