21 September 1956
Called Blanche this morning to give her a bit of dope on yesterday’s Finance Forum (Nat’l City Bank). I told her a little of my conversation with Jim Dawson – (the economist). She seized up the conversation this way: “Those people are so glad to talk with someone [to whom] they don’t have to explain what they are talking about – and can go on to say the things they really have to say.” And this is why I dragged out this notebook.
Kurt and I have frequently had, as a subject of conversation, the fact that many of the topics of discussion the two of us have had would be impossible on that level with most of the people we know. They would take too much background explanation.
Now Blanche, in summing up my conversation with Jim Dawson, brings to my attention that a poorly informed person – with a limited interest – can never be of interest to those people who could tell them interesting things. It is like compounding interest – or the parable of the talents: to those who have, more can be given. Moneywise, people find it relatively easy to understand this. What they fail to understand, and I guess I never fully appreciated it until this morning, is this compounding effect carries into all kinds of aspects. It makes me think of the funny “Pigs is Pigs” story in “Treasury of Laughter” about the railroad’s trouble with a pair of guinea pigs when they were not picked up promptly at the station.
Jobs are like marriage. Just as there is not (statistically speaking) only one person you can marry successfully – just as there is no one job you can be successful in.