It was a quote about ideas, events and people. It was something someone said to me once, and it rang so true to me that it eventually became part of my core philosophy. I wanted to say that it was my great grandfather, but I was just a child of 7 or 8 when he died. It was that type of memory, powerful, yet at the same time a bit cloudy. For a long time, I couldn’t remember who told the story and my mind balked at adding context to the vague recollections. I just remember this old man sitting down, making sure I caught his gaze before he would bestow onto me what he had to say. Then he said it. Did he expect a 7 year old to understand what this worn 93 year old man was saying? Was it something he learned over a lifetime that he felt he needed to pass on? I don’t have the answer to that question and I recently just made the connection that it was my indeed my great grandfather who passed the knowledge. Here is how…
It really started to get to me, usually before going to sleep or just waking up. I wanted to know what it was and who said it. Then I remembered….I run a search company! Why not put search engine technology to work? Usually a vague recollection is enough to track down some facts. So I did a Live.com search for:
quote + ideas + people + events
I was immediately floored when I looked at the top results page: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/36354.html
It turns out it was Eleanor Roosevelt that said:
“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”
One thing I do remember vividly is that my great grandfather had a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt on his wall and spoke often about her. As a child, I had thought that it was a picture of my deceased great grandma. I only learned in my 20’s when the picture made it’s way, dust covered from a relatives attic, that it was indeed Roosevelt and not grandma. Technology made a critical connection for me. No search engine could have catalogued my grandpa’s affinity for Eleanor, the picture from the attic, or the words said straight in front of a little boy, but using my memories as a starting point, it became an indespensible tool to leverage.
To this day, I have an affinity for ideas. Events aren’t very interesting and people don’t usually spark my interest as a point of conversation. Blame grandpa, Eleanor or both.
This is a site about what keeps me up at night.