The word ‘nerd’ is being bandied around by kids these days like a kind of insult. A nerd, I am informed, leads a stupid, boring life. Someone whose favourite pastime is playing flight simulation on the internet, reading Khaled Hosseini and watching the History Channel! You put your hand up at every question the teacher asks… and participate in all class discussions with enthusiasm. You totally ‘heart’ Wikipedia, are good with technology and probably wear thick-framed glasses.
They probably got it all wrong. The stereotype, that is! When we were growing up, the closest someone came to insulting us for being studious was by calling us ‘bookworms’. We found it cute… conjuring up visions of worms wound around a book. They didn’t know, did they… that we bookworms probably had the most fun. We always sat on the front benches and were the teachers’ pets. Which meant we could do no wrong! While the teacher targeted her myopic glasses at the backbenchers, we got away with almost everything. Eating mango slices with red chilli powder, hiding Archie Comics in thick Math notebooks and passing notes. Well, one of us studious types (who came first in the Board exams) was even dangled over a window to retrieve a bottle cap, while we held onto her belt. We wore our socks as gloves and sang ‘Surangini’ in full throttle, yes, all topper types… because we knew how to have fun and study too!
Are you a loser because you are a nerd? Definitely not! You probably need that ‘nerd’ sitting next to you to borrow notes from or help out with your projects. And maybe the next time, you need to unravel the mystery of the complicated DVD, say sorry to the person you called a ‘nerd’! He might just spare some time explaining things to you. The list is endless… hmmm… intelligent types are resourceful too! Dilton Doiley is supposed to be a nerd but he’s always ready to help his friends with his delightful inventions! Hey, you! Who think you have cool written all over you… add one more to the list… Judgemental!
Intelligent does not translate into boring. And if you must know, nerds are the richest people in the world. They are also the most powerful. Think Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft; Oracle Founder Larry Ellison; Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook; and founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin who all become multi-billionaires at a young age.
To all the kids who are stuck with the ‘nerd’ label, take heart! Kids grow up… and you will too… And then things will change. As Bill Gates says, “Don’t call anyone a nerd; chances are you’ll end up working for one!”
American inventor and businesswoman Regina Dugan goes as far as to say, “If you don’t already have a nerd in your life, you should get one.”
Think about it!