“The empires of the future will be empires of the mind.”— Winston Churchill
In Five Minds for the Future (Harvard Business School Press, 2007), author and noted psychologist Howard Gardner says our mind — actually, minds — matters. We achieve greater professional success by learning how to think and learn in new ways.
Gardner, well known in psychological circles for his theory of multiple intelligences, believes five different kinds of minds are critical to remaining a highly prized asset in your organization, especially in times of economic cutbacks. Human capability, he asserts, cannot be reduced to a single metric: IQ.
According to Gardner, five cognitive capacities will be in great demand in the years ahead
The Respectful Mind
The respectful mind responds sympathetically and constructively to differences among individuals and groups. Those with respectful minds work beyond mere tolerance and political correctness; they develop the capacity for forgiveness.
Human beings naturally band into groups — and as soon as such groups form, members start to dislike one another. This pattern appears repeatedly in humans and other primates, for that matter.
Group members bond and define themselves relative to “outgroups,” which are typically characterized as inferior, dangerous or subhuman. Explanations for this tendency abound, with different scientific frameworks emerging over decades of exploration.
Currently, many look to evolutionary psychology for an explanation, though this sociobiological story is probably far too simple. Whatever the reason for outgroups, we must overcome our tendency to create them. With modern weapons, we make the world a dangerous place.
The solution is a relatively simple one: Cultivate respect for others. And while it does, indeed, seem like a tenet of Kindergarten 101, it is much harder to achieve. Teaching respectfulness in school is certainly a promising means of fostering tolerance, and many schools put it into practice by requiring students of various backgrounds to work on joint projects with shared goals. With this kind of foundation, students can continue to cultivate tolerance and respect when they graduate to the workplace and political realm.
Great Quotes about the Insanity of Society and the Sanity of the Dissident
Most people assume that the majority is right, that society is normal and sane, and that the misfit, dissident, loner or nonconformist is abnormal and possibly mentally ill. That’s what they are programmed and conditioned to believe. It is a classic “cattle control” method of getting the herd to keep itself in line. However, many great thinkers, intellectuals and writers throughout history have said the opposite. See these great quotes from them below.
“The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” - Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." - Jiddu Krishnamurti
"The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." - H. L. Mencken
“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” - Gandhi
"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." - Friederich Nietzsche
"Insanity - a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world." - R. D. Lang
"Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are fools, and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion." - Thornton Wilder
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friederich Nietzsche
"Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone." - Ayn Rand
"The sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation; in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society - and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic." - Eric Fromm, Swiss Psychologist (The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness)
The Parable of the Poisoned Well:
“There was once a wise king who ruled over a vast city. He was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom. Now in the heart of the city, there was a well whose waters were pure and crystalline from which the king and all the inhabitants drank. When all were asleep, an enemy entered the city and poured seven drops of a strange liquid into the well. And he said that henceforth all who drink this water shall become mad.
All the people drank of the water, but not the king. And the people began to say, "The king is mad and has lost his reason. Look how strangely he behaves. We cannot be ruled by a madman, so he must be dethroned."
The king grew very fearful, for his subjects were preparing to rise against him. So one evening, he ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the well, and he drank deeply. The next day, there was great rejoicing among the people, for their beloved king had finally regained his reason."
"A time will come when the whole world will go mad. And to anyone who is not mad they will say: 'You are mad, for you are not like us.'" - St. Anthony the Great (attributed to)
"Just look at us. Everything is backwards. Everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religion destroys spirituality." -Michael Ellner
Dogbert: "Reality is always controlled by the people who are most insane." - Scott Adams, Dilbert
"We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal." - Carl Bernstein, U.S. Journalist. Guardian (London, June 3, 1992)
"Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong." - Oscar Wilde
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain
"Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue..." - Billy Joel, in his hit song Honesty
"Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage." - Ray Bradbury
"Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe." - Johann von Goethe
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akiro Kurosawa
"What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?" - Ursula K. LeGuin (b. 1929), US author, The Princess
"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives... I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends... and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it." - John Lennon, Interview BBC-TV (June 22, 1968)
"The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are." - H.L. Mencken
"In America, the criminally insane rule and the rest of us, or the vast majority of the rest of us, either do not care, do not know, or are distracted and properly brainwashed into acquiescence." - Kurt Nimmo
"America is an insane asylum run by the inmates." - Lester Roloff (1914-1982)
"When the world goes mad, one must accept madness as sanity; since sanity is, in the last analysis, nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree." - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), British playwright
"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they are okay, then it's you." - Rita Mae Brown
“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” - Rita Mae Brown
"The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." - Lily Tomlin (1939 - ), Actress
"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." - Voltaire
"Sometimes I think that the greatest sign that there is intelligent life somewhere in the universe is that it hasn't tried to contact us yet." - Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
"If human beings were shown what they're really like, they'd either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves." - , Author of A Brave New World
"They must find it difficult...those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority." - Gerald Massey
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged