“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
This aphorism has always irritated me. Maybe it’s my wee, little intellect, but I love talking about people.
People are so complex, messy, fleshy, and juicy. I look at humanity and I find us brilliant, wonderful, curious. We are lovely in both our bigness and our smallness. We are lovely in our joy and our angst. We are fascinating in our kindness and our cruelty.
See, I don’t think it is what we talk about — ideas, events, or people — but how we talk about them.
You can talk about an idea like patriotism and either inspire people to do great, big, beautiful things, or small, mean, and petty acts. All in the name of ideas and ideals.
You can do the same about people. There’s gossiping about your neighbor’s misfortune or picadillos, and then there’s finding ways to help make people’s lives better. And that usually, if not always, takes dialogue.
Maybe instead of definging someone’s intellectual depth by which of three broad categories they discuss, we should look at how they express their hearts…and their minds.
“Colors of Life” by Ketzirah (Creative Commons)