Mind Stretching

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/29487767@N02/2845044715/

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

A former student of mine posted this quote on her Facebook page recently, and I’ve been thinking about it off and on for a while. I’ve tried to pay particular attention to my own conversations lately.  This morning during an hour-long bike ride with my wonderful husband we talked about the Horizon Oil Spill, about the politics and public reaction surrounding it, about cultural cognition and how it impacts people’s actions, about “what if” scenarios related to our own lives.

During a break in our conversation it suddenly occurred to me that a great majority of our conversations – whether while bike riding or sitting around the house – are about big ideas, big questions, big issues. And while we rarely solve the world’s problems we do learn from each other. We bring up ideas and insights from articles and books we’ve read (and we do read very different things), people we’ve talked to, websites we’ve seen. At the end of our conversations, I’ve learned something and can think about an issue from a different perspective. And it makes me feel good.

I don’t know that I have a great mind – yet – but I’m glad to have a soul mate who is willing to discuss big ideas and stretch my thinking, enriching my life in the process.

Everyone should be so lucky…

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