The Test Of A First-Rate Mind

We collect sayings. “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” “Tact is the ability to tell a person to go to hell and make him feel happy to be in his way.” And this: “There is no such thing as an ending, just a place where you leave the story.” We are entertained watching how aptly these adages describe life.

On the second tier of our collected sayings is this one by F. Scott Fitzgerald: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” It never reached the first tier because it just never felt entirely right.

Lately it has become even more unsatisfying. We think we know why. It is both not entirely full, and it is too cute by half. Here is our redraft: “The test of a first-rate mind is the ability to fully and clearly articulate both sides of an issue, argue persuasively for one position, while acknowledging that either could be correct.”

From the #imjustsaying series

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