Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good People

I just returned from a trip to Logan, Utah, where I gave a book talk to a gathering of some fifty good women. I could tell they were good women by their smiles, sensible clothing, and gracious welcome. I'm always nervous prior to giving a book talk, (or any talk for that matter) so their kindness put me at ease. It was a night filled with laughter, tears, and astute questions.

When I was in college, (and I really hate to admit this) I liked to pal around with my peers in the theater department. They were cool and clever, and I felt cool and clever when I was with them. We were witty and outgoing, and we felt sorry for the Math and Science Nerds.

Then I fell in love with a Math Nerd. I found myself admiring his calm ways and his thoughtfulness. I felt better when I was around him. The banter and slick talk of the theater gang began to annoy me, and I relished the time spent with unassuming, good people.

Years after my husband and I were married, I came across this statement by Richard L. Evans, which accurately sums up my social transformation. I share it with you.

"Years ago I preferred clever people. There was a joy in beholding a mind bearing thoughts quickly translated into words, or ideas expressed in a new way. I find now my taste has changed. Verbal fireworks often bore me. They seem motivated by self-assertion and self-display. I now prefer another type of person; one who is considerate, understanding of others, careful not to break down another person's self-respect. My preferred person today is one who is always aware of the needs of others--their pain, fear, and unhappiness, and their search for self-respect. I once liked clever people. Now I like good people."



Lynn Gardner said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Being with good people is so uplifting and you don't have to constantly be on your toes to come back with clever repartee. I was never good at that - I could only think of the clever lines much later.

Jennie said...

You put it so well. I too prefer good people over clever people, but it's a real bonus to find a friend who is both.