All right--the Mr. Vinsons. Once you get past all the Mr. Vinsons, you're going
to start getting closer and closer--that is, if you want to, and if you look for it and wait for
it--to the kind of information that will be very, very dear to your heart. Among other
things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened
and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be
excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and
spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles.
You'll learn from them--if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer,
someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it
isn't education. It's history. It's poetry." He stopped and took a big drink out of his
highball. Then he started again. Boy, he was really hot. I was glad I didn't try to stop him
or anything. "I'm not trying to tell you," he said, "that only educated and scholarly men
are able to contribute something valuable to the world. It's not so. But I do say that
educated and scholarly men, if they're brilliant and creative to begin with--which,
unfortunately, is rarely the case--tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind
them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves
more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the
end. And--most important--nine times out of ten they have more humility than the
unscholarly thinker. Do you follow me at all?
Something else an academic education will do for you. If you go along with it
any considerable distance, it'll begin to give you an idea what size mind you have. What
it'll fit and, maybe, what it won't. After a while, you'll have an idea what kind of thoughts
your particular size mind should be wearing. For one thing, it may save you an
extraordinary amount of time trying on ideas that don't suit you, aren't becoming to you.
You'll begin to know your true measurements and dress your mind accordingly.