Monday, August 6, 2012

Smart Enough to Not Know Better

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him. Leo Tolstoy

I have had the good fortune for the past seven years of gathering with the same nine friends to play cards every few weeks. The group as a whole is excessively educated, always current on events and, by any standard of measurement, intelligent. They're also good men, engaged equally well with their families, businesses and communities.

While our conversations are most typically around poker, sports, cars, guns, fishing, music and women (in that order as we are a fairly old group), it is rare for the political issue of the day to not be the first topic.

So I wasn't the least surprised that Chick-fil-a's CEO was at the center of discussion this past week. The arguments fell along the general lines of freedom of speech versus gay rights (and the irrelevant to this blog arguments that Chick-fil-a should be boycotted for reasons more relevant to food quality).

Replace Gay with Black, or Jew, or Irish, or Native American... and it is the same debate that has been held since the founding of the US. 

Setting aside the merits of the arguments past and present, they provide a recurring model of change which makes them of interest to this blog.

We intuitively think that it could BE different if only we could get the slow-witted people out of the way. But, whether for good or bad, it is often the most intelligent that truly stand in the way of change.

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