Vietnamese proverb: Ba năm ở với người đần, chẳng bằng một lúc ghé gần người khôn
Translation: Three years spent with a stupid person is not as good as being around a wise one for a short while.
Lesson: Associating with intelligent people is one way to be more intelligent.
Intelligence is not a fixed number that one is born with as often mistakenly believed to be the case. We all can become smarter by being around and learning from smart people. When applying this rule, it is important to keep in mind that there are many kinds of intelligence: musical, spatial, kinesthetic, mathematical, intra-personal, interpersonal, social and linguistic and so on.
That’s why we should bear in mind that almost everyone we know has something to teach us, as Confucius, an ancient Chinese philosopher that has influenced Chinese thinking for more than a thousand years, said that in a group of three men, one of them could be his teacher. Of course, there are people who truly have nothing to offer and we shouldn’t waste our time on them.
Before we get to the next lesson, don’t forget that intelligent people can also be found in books. Books contain wisdom from the wisest of people, both contemporary and ancient. The biggest advantage of increasing our IQ by reading is that these teachers are always available, always patient, always waiting for us to give them our ears (or eyes) so that they can impart their knowledge to us.