boy watching the rain

Idea-People and People-People

boy watching the rain
Boy Watching the Rain, by PublicDomainPictures

Dear Son,

Many of my posts over the past couple of weeks have been political to some extent or another. I sometimes can be a bit boorish: I like talking about and thinking about the political…

But the truth is that while politics are somewhat important, they are also boring as hell! The world is made up of people-people and idea-people. Idea people love politics, philosophy, theory, and debate. People-people are more interested in enjoying the company of other people. They prefer games, gossip, fashion, and generally having fun.

People-people are also the vast majority of humanity. And they find the things that interest idea-people boring at best.  The feeling is usually mutual: idea-people usually have no idea why so many people-people bother with “pointless” trivia like sports, or the dress that so-and-so wore to such-and-such event.

Idea-people often make themselves hard to relate to. They are so interested in their particular arcane pursuits that they just don’t have common ground with everyone else, and don’t bother trying to find it. Sometimes they fail to understand that their interests are hard for other people, because idea-people are usually much smarter than average.

This is why it is so easy for intelligence to come along with loneliness. And why it is so important for an intelligent person to take interest in things like sports: they can learn about the things everyone else limes, but not everyone can learn about the more complicated things that appeal to the intelligentsia. The number of good relationships an idea-peson can have is in part dependent on how willing they are to build bridges.

And why we idea-people need to remember to check ourselves every once in awhile, and make sure we are boring everyone around us to tears.

Including our own children when we write them hundreds of letters…

With a slice of humble pie,

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