Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. This is a quote commonly attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. What does it mean though?
Let’s start by defining “ideas,” “events,” and “people.” Discussing people here means to talk about a person, typically in a negative, gossipy way. Discussing events means to talk about the events happening around the world. Discussing ideas means to understand the higher level messages behind an event, to understand human behavior, to look beyond what’s given, and to find solutions to help the world.
“Small Minds Discuss People”
When the quote says “Small minds discuss people,” it means that those who discuss people as an end to itself are shallow. Unfortunately, a fair segment of the media and our population today dedicate themselves to discussing people. You have tabloid magazines, celebrity gossip sites, and people who follow celebrity gossip like it is the central goal of their lives. Office politics are not uncommon. People backstab and criticize each other more often than we like. Even politicians make personal attacks and conduct smear campaigns. Online, it’s common to see people shaming/attacking each other, or worse still, others endorsing such behavior and joining in the attack....
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