Thank God for Stupid People


By Carlos Portocarrero

On Thursday August 26 at 8:39pm, M and I made this (M did most of the work):

new baby

A beautiful baby girl! It’s been a crazy/amazing/exhausting week. All the qualifiers you can think of—good and bad—seem to fit into this new stage of life they call parenthood. And throughout the whole time leading up to her birth there’s been one idea that’s helped get over all the conflicting emotions that she brought with her:

Stupider people than me have babies all the time and they seem to get along just fine. We’ll be OK.

And really, when times get really tough and you start to doubt everything you think and do, this idea keeps coming back to me and giving me faith that we can be good parents. Despite the piercing cries for no apparent reason. Despite the lack of sleep. Despite the times when M and I stare at each other in the middle of a meltdown and wonder, “Now what?”

Despite all of that, we can do this. And we can do it better than most other people—even if we don’t always feel like it. We’re lucky: we have families that love us and are there for us. We have parents that are still together over a combined 60 years later. We are well educated and have a pretty decent idea of what you’re supposed to do to successfully raise a baby. We have all the books (too many, actually). We have siblings that will do whatever it takes to help us out. We have good insurance that covers a large majority of the hospital expenses. We have a nice cash pile of savings just in case we need it.

We have way more than your average person does when they embark on parenthood. We basically have a head start and as long as we give it our best shot we will be OK.

I can’t tell you how comforting this idea is to a new parent. If you’ve had a kid, you know what I’m talking about.

How this Relates to Money

The fact that you are reading a blog about personal finance means you are already way ahead of the money game. That you even know something called “personal finance” even exists means you know more about managing your money than 90% of the people out there.

But you probably already knew that. The reason this “stupid people” concept is so important is because it can apply to so many other things in life. Want to start a business or get some freelance income? Dumb people do that every day.

Want to get a different job in another field? You know dumb people at your work that have done just that.

Thinking of learning a new language but think it might be too tough? Doesn’t Ted in accounting know Swahili?

Think it’s impossible to become an expert at Excel or some other piece of software? You know the drill.

Confidence is such an important part of accomplishing something or doing something well and knowing that dumb people do it all the time should give you some faith in yourself that you can and will achieve your goal.

Now go out there and do something incredible like making a baby—odds are you’ll do just fine.

Image by Jerry M.


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