They Don't Care How Much You Know, They Want To Know How Much You Care

The smarter we humans have become throughout history, the smarter it seems to be smart.

To put some evidence to that premise, notice the storied rise-of-the-nerds. Unlike my generation [aka, the Silent Generation of the mid-20th C] today’s Millennial Generation has a much healthier respect for their brainiest peers [see Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg for details]. For bookish school kids like me, this new respect for brains versus brawn came a few years too late.

But I write this with no regrets, for once kids leave school, the glory of school sports wanes whatever the generation. Like the fleeting notoriety of high school gangs, the fleeting heroics of high school sports eventually give way to the real stuff. Adult relationships, careers, missions.

Having said all this, lets say one more thing. Smart without heart is empty.

People care what you know, but even more importantly they want to know you care. Take those three careers. Whereas Zuckerberg may still be considered the rapacious kid in the game, Gates and Jobs aged into the role of benefactors. Sure the world respected their genius, but respect eventually evolved into love as these men began funneling their genius into their philanthropies. We like hearing about their many philanthropies, because this gives them humanity as well as heroics.

None of this should come as any surprise. Hollywood has been making guy-gets-gal movies since forever. We want to see that eventual clinch in the last reel where the two hearts, after 90 minutes of struggle, end up where they belong. In each others arms.The same is true whenever Hollywood does a buddy movie. We admire the smart one, but kinda love the emotional one. Notice for instance the dynamics in the ‘Star Trek’ series between cool Spock and warm blooded Kirk. Or brilliant Holmes and bumbling Watson. Or the crime programs like ‘CSI’ and ‘Hawaii-50’ where the audience gives their attention to the cerebral bosses while giving their hearts to the lovable sidekicks.

Nothing new here folks. The human race has been this way from the get-go. We often kill our prophets and philosophers, while at the same time cheering our charmers. I guess feeling to us will always been easier than thinking. Who knows, I guess this is the way it was meant to be….

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