"Both she and her brother, however, exaggerated the young girl's limitations; for Catherine, though she was very fond of her aunt, and conscious of the gratitude she owed her, regarded her without a particle of that gentle dread which gave its stamp to her admiration of her father. To her mind there was nothing of the infinite about Mrs. Penniman; Catherine saw her all at once, as it were, and was not dazzled by the apparition; whereas her father's great faculties seemed, as they stretched away, to lose themselves in a sort of luminous vagueness, which indicated, not that they stopped, but that Catherine's own mind ceased to follow them."Never underestimate the lowly. Poor Catherine; she is a decent observer of character and recognizes greatness when she sees it, but everyone around her just looks at her and sees a simpleton.--from Washington Square
It occurred to me today that the lowliest of the low still have eyes and ears; oftentimes their bottom-of-the-rung state gives them a clearer vision of what's really going on. Which is why, if I ever become a boss, I am going to make it a point to ask an intern what he or she honestly thinks of the full-time employees (at the end of the internship, of course, when it wouldn't be awkward for him or her to return to work after pointing out a superior's weaknesses). The view from the bottom speaks volumes about those up top.