I heard something the other day that has stuck with me ever since. In an interview about her daughter’s new book (Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World by Lisa Bloom), Gloria Allread said, “You don’t have to have a college education to be smart.”

My first thought was that I hope my kids never hear that. I had visions of them bypassing my college dreams for them using that statement as their mantra. What would I do?!

Seriously though, Allread is right. Being smart has nothing to do with a diploma or a resume or even a particular pedigree. It has everything to do with how a person assimilates her experiences–including education–and finds practical application for them. Being smart means that a person uses her brain to think ahead, make connections, solve problems. It means learning from successes and from failures to make better choices the next time. It means firing on all cylinders.

Of course, I still think pretty highly of college education, but it in itself doesn’t make a person smart. In the words of Eric Clapton, “It’s in the way that you use it.”

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