I really really like smart people. In the world that we live in, individuality is said to be celebrated and appreciated. However, we still (and maybe unknowingly) look down on or despise people who do not fit into our molds of what they should be like. History tells us that the people who accomplish the most and succeeded tend to be those who think outside the box and aren’t afraid to challenge the social and societal norms of their time. So many people are taught to fit in from an early age. They are encouraged to do well in school, get along with their peers, graduate from a decent college after wasting freshman year partying, find a good job, marry, work some more, and die. I have witness so many older adults approaching 20-somethings and asking them if they in school and if not, they are somehow wasting their lives away. While I can’t image my life without a significant amount of stress about my education and schoolwork, I recognize that the traditional route isn’t for everyone and in reality, it shouldn’t be. Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to listen to people who are extremely intelligent. But in addition to being intelligent, they are able to convey their thoughts and ideas in a way that is extremely clear. While these individuals may not have degrees, they have adopted the mindset of being a lifelong learner. While I try not to divide the people I know into categories based on my perceptions of their intelligence, I have learned that you can’t have all conversations with all people. It just doesn’t work out that way. It’s extremely hard, if not impossible to have a conversation with someone about a topic that they know absolutely nothing about. This doesn’t mean that they’re not intelligent, it just means that they have a different point of reference. The deer in the headlights look in the middle of a conversation is usually a hint to change the topic. This is the point in my post where I insert some inspirational quote about eagles not hanging with chickens. To be clear, I think that we can learn a lot from the people around us. However, you won’t ever stretch your mind if you’re the smartest person in your group of friends and you know it. People who know what they are talking about and are aware of the world around them are more sought out than those who don’t. Point blank. Find someone smarter than you and be their friend. You’ll learn a lot.