Cleverness versus kindness

Cleverness versus kindness

“Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.”

That’s Jeff Bezos quoting his grandfather in remarks to the class of 2010 at Princeton. He continues:

Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.

His prediction:

When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.

We are our choices. Are we building great stories?