Intelligence and Kindness – A Good Combination

Black_or _White_Thinking

Let’s be reasonable and do it my way!”

By Terence T. Gorski, Author
December 31, 2013

The best people are both intelligence and kind.

I read a poster that said: “Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right. We do not need an intelligent mind that speaks. but a patient heart that listens.” I agree with the first sentence. I strongly disagree with the second.

The need to be right is a never-ending journey. The truth is difficult to find and as we learn, more, new levels of the truth are always emerging to be discovered. We also, as human beings, have the infinite capacity for self-deception. We are also capable of sophisticated lies.  So being right is not my goal. THE PROCESS OF SEEKING THE TRUTH is my journey.

Intelligent minds that listen and respond and are embodied in people with kind hearts represents the best of all worlds. They are both intelligent and kind. Their knowledge is tempered with compassion. They encourage freedom of thought and expression. They don’t stifle it.

We should not settle for the false idea that we must trash intelligence in favor of emotion or the other way around. This is irrational thinking of the “black/white either/or thinking” variety. This way of thinking can harm us. We can do better than support it.

Kindness without intelligence is can be easily exploited and leads to ruin. Intelligence without kindness tends to divide, isolate, and dehumanize. Kindness plus intelligence must survive the test of time if we are to build a better future.

Here is an example. It takes thought to put on your own oxygen mask first in order to survive to help others. It is counter-intuitive, but it is the right thing to do. People with kind hearts need to make a commitment to rational thinking. This maximizes their chances of staying alive and of being able to help others.

Being compassionate takes thought. It is not as simple as just letting yourself feel. Don’t take my word on it. Read about Compassion-Focused Therapy By. Dr. John Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert believes that it takes rational thinking to figure out how to be truly compassionate .While on your quest for compassionate feelings, check out Rational Emotive Therapy f the Alcoholic by Albert Ellis, and see what he has to say on the subject of thoughts, feelings ,and addiction.

If you want to learn how to manage black-or-white thinking and
other forms of irrationality that can lead to relapse check out
Smart Recovery.

Think Rationally and Be Compassionate! 



One Response to Intelligence and Kindness – A Good Combination

  1. Guy Lamunyon says:

    An early hypothesis was that cognitively oriented types would do better in Rational Recovery and that emotionally oriented types would do better in AA/12 Step groups. Research has demonstrated SMART Recovery participants have more internal locus of control (prefer to make own decisions) and AA/12 Step types have more external locus of control (make decisions based on what others tell them).

    SMART Recovery is a great referral for cognitively oriented types that reject the AA/12 Step approach.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: