The Smartest People I Know

by Senior Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott

A couple of years ago I was scrolling through Twitter when I came across a Tweet from Warren Buffet, the famous billionaire investor. His Tweet was titled, “The smartest people I know…” and went on to list seven characteristics that he felt met this definition. I copied that Tweet down and recently discovered it in a notebook I was looking through. I wanted to share it with you along with some of my thoughts about it.

The Smartest People I Know
Warren Buffet - Twitter August 26, 2018

Don’t get easily offended
Read more than they talk
Enjoy intelligent discourse
Quickly admit when they’re wrong
Comfortable changing their opinion
Surrounding themselves with intelligence
Seek to understand every perspective on a topic

In today’s social media and sound bite world, these are sound advice. Let me walk through these with a few views of my own.

“Don’t get easily offended” - social media is full of people who quickly react to any comment or meme. The talk (or type) first, think later trend that has swept society in the last few years, I believe has contributed to the toxic environment that now seems to permeate nearly everything. By not being easily offended, you might actually be able to understand someone else’s point of view.

“Read more than they talk”
- to me these are the type of people who are seeking to find the facts and read a diverse array of sources.

“Enjoy intelligent discourse” - is this still possible in today’s environment? I think so, and I always enjoy talking with people who are ready to have a serious discussion about issues, history, their families, etc.

“Quickly admit when they are wrong” - I’ve never been one who is so entrenched in my thinking that I can’t admit when I have been wrong. This has come easier with age and personal growth.

“Comfortable changing their opinion” - I have no problem changing my opinion, when I learn new facts, learn from other people’s experiences, and expand my knowledge.

“Surrounding themselves with intelligence” - if you spend all your time on social media, let me assure you, you're not surrounding yourself with intelligence. Social media has a place, but pick up a book, read a newspaper, attend a lecture at the local college, conduct masonic education for your lodge.

“Seek to understand every perspective on the topic” - the best way to expand your horizon, is to seek out diverse points of view on something that interests you. You will quickly learn there is more than one truth out there on a subject.

As Freemasons we can utilize Warren Buffet’s advice to help advance our personal growth and to utilize these skills in studying all the lessons that Freemasonry has to offer. Thus making us smarter Masons!


WB Gregory J. Knott is a founding member and Senior Contributor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign-Urbana. He is also a member of ANSAR Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg serves on the Board of Directors of The Masonic Society and is a member of the Scottish Rite Research Society and The Philathes Society. He is a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and serves as its Secretary. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts—an Eagle Scout himself, he is a member of the National Association of Masonic Scouters. You can contact him at

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