I often say that I need to be around intelligent people. What do I mean by that?
Firstly, an intelligent person is not someone who comes across as the smartest person in the room. It is not someone who is inundated with facts and complex systems of hyper-knowledge. An intelligent person does not exude the thin air of esoteric concepts and vocabulary. A person who tries to dazzle you with their intelligence lacks humility, and ironically, humility is the first prerequisite of true intelligence.
In that same vein, an intelligent person is not a bully. A truly intelligent person begins the search for knowledge and understanding from a posture of humility. Knowledge and ideas and words are not weapons to win arguments and dominate dissenters, rather they are steps on the ladder that leads to truth.
An intelligent person is a curious person, and cannot be satiated with encyclopedic facts, because the search for understanding does not have an end. An intelligent person is one who speaks with both confidence and kindness because they recognize that every human being is created in God’s Image, and possesses some measure of truth.
Most of all, an intelligent person has an insatiable desire for truth, understanding, and clarity. An intelligent person is madly in love with ideas for the sake of truth, not their own interpretation of ideas for the sake of self-promotion.
And finally, an intelligent person realizes that we have two ears but only one mouth for a good reason!