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One would think that being smart gives an individual so much confidence.

The fact that there


are people putting someone down for being intelligent is unknown to most. To some, being smart is
synonymous to being arrogant. Being smart is being an attention-seeker. It is being self-centered and
prideful. Being smart is being “pasikat” and “sipsip” to the teacher.

I wonder if “smart-shaming” happens in other countries. I mean there are habits and beliefs that
are exclusive to the Filipino culture. I bet it probably does, it is just that Filipinos are keener on doing it. I
guess it is acceptable to classify smart-shaming as a negative Filipino trait.

I would not have thought of the topic regarding smart-shaming if I had not stumbled upon a
certain article online. While reading it, I cannot help but remember some things that happened during my
junior high years. And while it does not directly involve me, I recalled how it made friends and/or
classmates of mine suffer. Being smart is not a sin. Some people cannot help but be better than others
when it comes to intellectual aspects. There are those who take so much pride in being smarter than
others that they openly brag about it with all the chance they can get. Because of that, some cannot help
but generalized that smart people act that way.

It is not my friend’s fault that he knows how to answer the teacher’s question most of the time.
It is ironic how smart-shaming happens in a class of smart students if you base it on their grades. It seems
hypocritical and they make being smart seems wrong. I applaud him for not bringing it up ever during
open forums. In high school, an open forum does not make a class more unified. It just makes them hate
each other more and it does not solve problems. Instead, it adds more coal to the fire that things end up
getting more complicated. He probably knew about that and made a good decision of not pointing fingers
to those who are too insecure of his greatness.

As a friend, it is sad to hear negative things being said about him. In our batch, he has always
been the “Top 1” until we finished junior high, the best of the best, and unbeatable. It just does not add
up since you would expect there to be a lot of praise towards him. He did not let the insecurities of others
get into him. He stood strong through it all and it was very satisfying to see him on stage deliver the
speech.

When I went to senior high school, I did not expect to bring the experience with me. I think
smart-shaming does not have to be comprehended literally. If one knows something that the others do
not, he/she can be smart-shamed too. Looking back, I did feel scared to raise my hand up to solve a simple
equation that no one seems to know the answer to. I never tried to call the attention of the teacher and
instead just waited for her to call me. I should not appear eager to answer or else my classmates would
think I am showing off or being “pabibo”. I would not want to be remembered like that throughout the
school year.

It is a mystery how smart-shaming started. It discourages a person to do well because no one


would want to be someone hated by others who have nothing better to do but point out flaws. Not one
individual is flawless except their skin. Being smart is a blessing. Being smart is being passionate about
having a better future. Being smart is simply being smart so people should just stop putting negative
connotations towards it.