How To Know If You Have A First Rate Mind

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
– A.A. Milne

The third rate mind never goes anywhere because it is constantly being led by the nose, always follow the behind of those who lead. Think politics, religion or the products of big corporations (as a consequence of constant unrelenting advertising).

The second rate mind always feels that it is going against the flow, which it is. In this case, the minority usually believes that its way is better than the ways of the majority. These people believe that their way is better for humankind, whether morally, politically, religiously, ecologically or any other -ly. It is comforted in knowing that, though a minority, they think alike with their fellow believers.

The first rate mind usually thinks alone. He or she knows that their way of thinking goes against the trends of humanity, but takes comfort in truth rather than in comradeship. He or she is used to being thought of as wrong or as kooky or as a bit too far off base.

The first rate mind sometimes wonders if he or she is weird, a social misfit or the result of some form of genetic mutation. Any are possible, but the real reasons may commonly be found in their unusual upbringing in their first few years of life.

The first rate mind may be sociopathic or totally benign and peace loving. He or she may be a criminal, a drug addict or an inmate in a psychiatric hospital. Or a teacher, firefighter or member of any occupational group. The ones suffering from anti-social behaviours may result from bad decisions made in the heat of the moment, of good decisions made that go against the law or social norms or of being thought so different that he or she doesn’t know how to cope with problems in their personal life that others just plug through but that he or she take as unsolvable or intractable.

The third rate mind is always appreciated at the moment for being “average,” in synch with the majority way of thinking.

The second rate mind is usually considered to be inept by the majority because they just don’t “get it,” but cool among his or her group.

The first rate mind is always appreciated more after their death than before, even if they are recognized for their genius while they are alive.

For the third rate mind, perfection is being with the majority.

For the second rate mind, perfection is elusive, but possible if enough people could just see how they have been thinking the wrong way.

For the first rate mind, perfection is not a consideration because it cannot be reached. Each success is a plateau, a step leading to the next challenge. Every step of progress brings with it its failures, which lead to new challenges, which result in new projects.

To the third rate mind, society would be much better if the radicals would just get onside.

To the second rate mind, society is made up largely of third rate minds who can’t tell their whatchmacallit from their thingamajig.

To the first rate mind, everyone is insane, differing only in their degree of insanity and their preferences for ways of showing it.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to grow children who have no trouble telling their whatchmacallit from their thingamajig. And who know right from wrong at the right times.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

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