My grandmother is an immigrant with barely a sixth-grade education. She is also one of the smartest people I know. What she lacks in academic accomplishments she more than makes up for in hard-earned lessons about survival and life. She is sparing in the praise she gives those she loves, but infuriatingly generous in her praise of public figures—including celebrities. On a recent visit, she spoke highly of a socialite with a questionable record of giving back to society, so I pushed back, asking what it was about this person that could possibly impress her. Without hesitation, my grandmother said, “People know her. That is something.”
Now, we can argue about whether people know this particular socialite for the right reasons, but I can’t argue that my grandmother was onto something. And it’s something I wish I had learned much earlier than I did.