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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lost Trait: Open-mindedness

Don Boudreaux describes a particular quality of a friend, economist Hugh Macaulay, who passed away recently. As Boudreaux says, it is a rare quality. It is one we should aspire to obtain especially in these "volume too high, courtesy too low" times we are experiencing. He writes:

I can still see him nodding his head, telling someone with us at lunch or at our monthly book-club meeting that "that's a goooodddd idea!!"

And Hugh found lots of ideas to be good. At first, I thought he was just being kind when he expressed his admiration for some idea that struck me as mediocre, for I knew that he easily and immediately perceived the difference between ideas that are banal and those that are worthwhile.

But I learned that Hugh possessed that too-rare quality not only of interpreting each person's statements in the very best light possible, but also of extracting genuine insights from others' statements even if those of us who uttered these statements never realized the depths of our insights until Hugh explained them to us.

This is called being open-minded.

1 Comments:

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »

 

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