Pride and Passion
But there's something else, just as important as intelligence in the Scots character: pride and passion. These deep qualities are sometimes masked by pragmatism or a very dry sense of humour coupled with the legacy of Calvinism (where the response to commenting that 'it's a lovely sunny day' is to be told 'we'll pay for it!')
It's a pride and a passion that has several sources. First, Scotland is a land of breathtaking beauty, which you can read more about in the Landscape section. This instils powerful feelings. Second, in the past life was hard for many Scots. Adverse political conditions meant people struggled and had to work hard to survive. Over past generations this has bred strong egalitarian and socialist traditions and a belief in justice and fairness. As a result many politicians and indeed Prime Ministers of Great Britain have emerged from Scotland or Scottish education (including Gordon Brown and Tony Blair). It's a country where issues are discussed and rights are fought for. As Glasgow-based novelist and essayist William McIlvanney has said: "Scotland is one of the most intense talking-shops I have ever been in."
There's a third, new source of pride and passion. In 1999, after many years of striving, planning and wishing, Scotland regained its own Parliament, which had not sat since 1707, the date of the union of crowns of England and Scotland. Along with the new devolved powers of Parliament (which you can read more about in the Government section) has come a new dynamism, a new passion and the will to create a new identity that reflects the vitality and free thinking of modern Scotland.