Eleanor Roosevelt once said: «Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.»
I never realized how much it reflected my social life until I entered university. Since elementary school, a lot of friends appeared and disappeared from my life. I still keep in touch with some of them and I also met new people. And that’s how I understood the meaning behind this quote.
One year and a half ago, I stepped into a new period in my life: university. That’s when I met new people and it was a very refreshing experience for me. My perception of people changed a lot because it was the moment when I met great minds. I’m not only talking about friends, but professors, grad students, etc. They talked about great ideas and I was amazed. I’m still amazed. Why? Because I realized that, in the past, I hung out with people who would talk about small things, every time, every day. Small things like what they did yesterday, whining about (what I consider now) ridiculous problems like how bad their parents scold them, etc. I was DEFINITELY guilty of that too. I was probably the worst whining baby. I still do that sometimes and I think it’s okay from time to time, but not every time.
Now, I can see how some old friends «grew up» from their conversation topics. Some are still always talking about celebrities, gossip, their nails, their boyfriend, etc. Some have really evolved and love to talk about their future projects, their motivation and ambitions. And I think it’s awesome to be able to dream big and see other things than your own little world.
In university, I have this friend that push me to really think actively about things that I thought didn’t matter (like environmentalism, capitalism, etc.) and to be open-minded about new ideas that I would usually ignore because of prejudices like «it’s boring», «it’s for nerds, geniuses or professionals». Now, even political issues can spark an interest in me. That got me out of this «intellectual laziness». I realized that I was only interested in my own bubble and worried about insignificant things. She also taught me a lot about optimism, to be daring and ambitious about your future. It really influenced me since I was extremely pessimist (I preferred the word «realist»). My father also played a big role in my open-mindedness. He loves big ideas and innovations. When he’s passionately talking about something, his passion is very contagious. I absorb everything he says and the same thing happens with some of my professors.
It’s really nice to constantly change your perception of the world and to feel that you actually understand it better every day.
So that’s how I came to the conclusion that you must surround yourself with great people to be able to grow up, push yourself and become a better person. It’s very important because people influence you more than you think whether it’s consciously or unconsciously. I hope it made you reflect a bit. 🙂