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  • I do. I do. Look,

  • I have always said this; in the history of my country only two governors of very small states have

  • ever been elected president. A man named Franklin Pierce, the governor of New Hampshire in 1852

  • who was picked just because he was the most inoffensive person around as we headed toward

  • the Civil War. He was a very good man by the way and underrated as a person but his presidency

  • was a failure because he couldn't hold the country together, and me. And I always told

  • people that I considered the fact that I was the governor of a very small state and the

  • last generation, part of the last generation of Americans to grow up without a television

  • to be one of the reasons that I did get elected president. We didn't get a TV until I was

  • almost ten years old. And we didn't get a computer till my daughter was about four years old.

  • So, I grew up in an oral culture of storytelling and I was raised by highly intelligent people,

  • most of whom had very limited formal education but they were highly intelligent. And I was

  • taught to listen and to observe and to pay attention and to listen to other people's

  • stories. I was taught that everybody's got a story. I was taught that every life had

  • some inherently interesting part of it but that most people can't get it out. And if

  • they could get it out, if everybody could tell their story it would be interesting.

  • And around the dinner table at my great uncles house, for example, who spent a lot of time

  • raising me when my mother was widowed by the time I was born and my great uncle was the

  • smartest guy in our family. I bet his IQ was 185 and he had like no formal education but

  • he could literally have you in tears in three minutes talking about some totally otherwise

  • non-descript person in our hometown and telling the story of their lives. Just laughing, crying,

  • he was a genius.

  • So, before - if you were a kid around the table, before you could tell a story you had

  • to be able to listen to one. And we would be asked, the children after somebody told

  • a story at lunch or dinner did you understand the story? And if you said yes then you would

  • be asked okay what did you hear? After you proved that you could listen and recount what

  • you heard then you could tell a story, but not until. And I think that you can teach

  • people first the big fact. Our differences are important. They make life interesting.

  • But since nobody is capable of being in possession of the whole truth about anything, our common

  • humanity matters more. So you owe everybody a certain presumption of respect until they

  • do something to forfeit it and you should be listening. And we should teach people that.

  • We should teach people how other people view the world differently from us, how other people

  • have experienced life differently from us. It's a discipline. It's a learned gift and

  • it's part of some cultures and not part of others. I grew up in a highly segregated,

  • racially segregated southern town with a grandfather who ran a grocery store where most of his

  • customers were African-Americans. So I grew up knowing people that most white kids didn't

  • know. And I learned just - nobody had to tell me I learned that intelligence was evenly

  • distributed. I learned that dignity was something shared by all people. I just learned it. I

  • deserve no credit for it. I was raised in a certain way.

  • I think that all that can be taught. I also think that I agree with what you said but

  • I think there's another skill that needs to be taught. That you can't necessarily learn

  • even if you're a computer whiz or if you're a news or political junkie and you read 50

  • blogs a day. And that is how to organize all that you know. I mean one of the reasons - I

  • should be interviewing you today. One of the reasons that I love your columns and I love

  • your commentary is that you help people to synthesize things that they know, sort of,

  • that is you may write a column or do a commentary and not state one single fact that most of

  • your listeners or readers don't already know but they haven't put it together as you have.

  • And we live in a time where an eight-year-old can get on the computer and find out in 30

  • seconds things that I had to go to university to learn, right? It's pretty scary but it's

  • true. That doesn't mean that the eight-year-old understands the significance that whatever

  • that is in terms of 15 other things. So I think getting along with other people is important,

  • but I also think synthesizing ability is important. Otherwise you could take everything you read

  • -- I mean just look at what's on the news every day or what's in the newspaper it's

  • like the political equivalent of chaos theory in physics. How do you connect the dots? So

  • I think learning to deal with other people and then learning to connect the dots are

  • the two great mega educational skills we need to impart in every country at every level of development.

I do. I do. Look,

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A2 people taught teach people learned segregated listen

Bill Clinton: Learning to Work with Others

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    郭哲志 posted on 2014/03/31
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