Our abilities to think, reason and learn are among the most powerful tools we have to make our lives safer, more comfortable and more fulfilling. Yet many of us simply do not develop our mental capacities.
Although we can learn important information in school, the wise person in pursuit of self-improvement realizes that education is a lifelong process of expanding our minds through conversations, reading, listening, watching and doing.
Thus, in selecting who we converse with and what we read, listen to or watch, we should avoid whatever lacks intellectual nutrition.
No matter your age, the quality of your life can be improved if you seek out opportunities to increase your knowledge, deepen your understanding and sharpen your problem-solving skills. Think how much better your decisions would be if you learned how to better sort and rank the quality of information by distinguishing between facts, opinions, assumptions and accusations. Or if you could identify and overcome personal prejudices and self-interest.
Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” And Robert Frost added, “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” To do that, try to develop your ability to receive and, with an open mind, consider personally unsettling, unpleasant or offensive information and points of view.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.