"Too often, people find it easier to make assumptions and stick with what they believe. They put you in a place, and it makes their job easier. The good people constantly search for something different."
I was talking to a friend yesterday and told him that I had learned not too long ago that I was as guilty as the next guy of making decisions on the basis of assumptions and judgments that were made in haste. What finally reached me was that I was often too quick to judge, not spending the time to get below the surface. Of course we often have encounters that are brief and provide little time to make quality in depth judgments so it is important that we don’t make decisions or draw conclusions after only a short encounter.
I wonder if we are conditioned to move so fast these days that we have started to find jumping to conclusions as being the acceptable norm, I sure hope not. Today each of us face real challenges in our personal life and in our professional life, in addition our democracy and our responsibility as citizens require each of us do the best we can to make knowledgeable judgments and we cannot do that if we believe that only a smile or a phrase that we like is an adequate substitute for in-depth knowledge.
I am glad that someone allowed me to participate in a group exercise that showed me again that you cannot tell a book by its cover. At the time I wondered if I was being somewhat influenced by panic media visuals. I realized if people who do bad things look one way that does not mean that others who look similar are bad as well. In fact if you get a chance take a look at the pictures of the heroes of the past, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandella, Helen Keller, Ann Frank, Simon Bolivar and the like. If you do look you will realize that good people and bad people come in a wide range of wrappings and sometimes the wrappings look the same but it is only what is inside the wrappings that really count.
A while I go the wise Steve Brukhorst sent me an article that has value here are a few questions he offered that are worth reading.
Ask yourself these questions:
"Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in."
The wife was busy frying eggs, when her husband came home. He walked into the kitchen and immediately started yelling.
CAREFULL!!! CAREFULL!!! MORE OIL!!! TURN THEM!!! TURN THEM NOW!!! WE NEED MORE OIL!!! THEY ARE GOING TO STICK!!! CAREFULL!!! CAREFULL!!! TURN THEM!!! TURN THEM!!! HURRY UP!!! ARE YOU CRAZY!!!! THE OIL IS GOING TO SPILL!!! USE MORE SALT!!! THE SALT!!!!"
The wife was very upset, "What is wrong with you? Why are you yelling like this? Do you think I don't know how to fry an egg?"
The husband calmly replied, "This is to show you what it feels like for me when I am driving and you sit next to me..."
"If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn't have a job if he was any smarter."
Albert A. Grant
Scott and Glenn went on a fishing trip. They rented all the equipment: reels, rods, wading suits, rowboat, car, even a cabin in the woods. They spent a fortune. The first day they went fishing and didn't catch anything. The same thing happened on the second day and the third. It went on like this until finally, on the last day of their vacation, Scott caught a fish. Driving home they were really depressed. Scott turned to Glenn and said, "Do you realize that this one lousy fish we caught cost us fifteen hundred dollars?"
Glenn replied, "Wow! It's a good thing we didn't catch any more!"
I had amnesia once -- or twice.
"Darling," said the young man to his new bride. "Now that we are married, do you think you will be able to live on my modest income?"
"Of course, dearest, no trouble," she answered. "But what will you live on?"
It takes two things to be a consultant - gray hair and hemorrhoids.
The gray hair makes you look distinguished and the hemorrhoids make you look concerned.
A motorist was on trial for hitting a pedestrian. The motorist's lawyer made this point: "Your honor, my client has been driving for over thirty years."
To which the lawyer for the plaintiff retorted: "Your honor, if we are going to judge this case by experience, may I remind you that my client has been walking for over fifty years."
When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.
A woman went to the bank and applied for a loan.
"I want a loan, I'm going to divorce my husband."
"Oh, we don't give loans for divorces" the manager says "We make loans for automobiles, businesses, home improvements...."
The woman interrupts and says "Well, this would certainly be a 'Home Improvement.'
"We have women in the military, but they don't put us in the front lines. They don't know if we can fight, if we can kill. I think we can. All the general has to do is walk over to the women and say, 'You see the enemy over there? They say you look fat in those uniforms'."
"The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept."
John W. Gardner
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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