“Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.”
Thanks, Eleanor! So I definitely have either a small, average, or great mind! Who knew?
I keep seeing this thing all over the place. It’s one of those things that pops up on the internet and works its way down to the Facebook and Instagram posts of morons (my friends). Just chalk it up to another one of those stupid quotes where just because it was supposedly said a well-known person and has the illusion of insight, people parrot it back. But you can’t sneak that shit past me: this isn’t even up there with Confucius jokes (“Confucius say man standing on toilet high on pot.”)
What the hell is so enlightening about this quote? It says absolutely nothing worthwhile. Contributes nothing. It doesn’t present any new ideas, it doesn’t give any practical advice, it doesn’t promote high morality, and it doesn’t educate the reader. You know what it does do? It gives the pretense of introspection. The thought that by reading it one might somehow reevaluate his mode of thinking and conversations and thereby reach a higher plane of thought. But it doesn’t do that because it is shallow and simplistic and forgettable. Another thing it does well: it gives its readers the chance to give themselves a mental pat on the back.
How’s this for an idea: either this quote was misattributed or Eleanor Roosevelt was a dummy. This quote says words without saying ANYTHING, much the same way unintelligent people talk – not because they have something important to say, but because they want to talk. That’s what this quote is. It’s a child talking because it learned how to make noise. I guess even dumber than Eleanor are the people who spread this quote thinking that it is erudite thought.
Fun fact, you could copy/paste this rant below any Maya Angelou quote.
Another fun fact: There is a large overlap between people who share this quote and people who like TED talks.