Today I went to a birthday party ( it was the birthday of the kid I taught magic to last week )
After the food was served and the cake was cut and “happy birthdays” were sung, all the kids were dispersed to freely play among themselves throughout the house. Then, the adults (and myself) were allowed to relax. I sat down in a chair in the living room and made conversations with the other parents and adults who needed a rest.
I enjoyed myself. There was one man who was quite the fan of satire; I enjoyed his humour, though some may find it offensive, and it is definitely not considered child-friendly. He asked me if I wanted to become a CEO of a large company and become rich, and if I did, all I had to do was be a cutthroat asshole, and I’d be 80% there. I had a little chuckle. I didn’t disagree. Maybe I should have told him I wanted to work for a non-profit and focus more on ethical business, rather than money and power? He told me he thought the biggest assholes at UPenn were the business students at Wharton; he said he felt this way because he graduated from Wharton himself.
There was a lovely mother who seemed stressed sat across me. She had a 4-year-old son who kept asking her if he could play with a water gun. She was quite hesitant to say “yes”, because it seemed she suspected the son might want to spray other children, despite his confession that he only wanted to shoot the grass. I would have given him the water gun; he was adorable. The mother also seemed to express a little discontent with the university she had been working for: undergraduate research at UPenn. I didn’t understand the jargon she was using, but it seemed that she didn’t like many of the policies that were in place at the school.
Sat near my right was the UPenn Marketing Professor I had met at the barbershop just last week. He was extremely soft-spoken, but under his kind presence was 16+ years of being a Senior Fellow of Marketing at the country’s greatest business program.
There I was. Surrounded by geniuses, the top 10%. Three adults who had attended UPenn, and two who currently still has an affiliation with the university.
There was a lot of insight to be shared in that room, and I could feel it. We talked about business, education and universities, a little bit of magic and psychology, leadership, and everything in between.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to continue the conversations as long as I’d hoped to, as I had to be driven back to Villanova shortly after.
But I think it’s great to take advantage of these situations where you are in the presence of people who have much more experience and knowledge than you. That’s how we learn and grow as people. I’ll always make sure to have discussions with those more knowledgeable than I am, whenever I can. Even if it’s just small talk, make sure you pay attention and learn the nuances from all these geniuses who could be sitting right next to you.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”