Life, Filtered…Through You

24 08 2015

Life Filtered Through YouWe’ve all heard, at one time or another, that there are no two snowflakes alike.  Science has confirmed this.  It is estimated that there are something like ten quadrillion (that’s 10,000,000,000,000,000) water molecules that make up a snowflake.  Thus, while many snowflakes at the microscopic level appear to be similar, at the molecular level they are all different.

Which brings us to you.

You are unique, to say the least.  And so am I.  At the molecular level, to be sure, but in a number of other areas of involvement, measurement, comparison, etc.

What this means is that each one of us see the world in slightly different ways.  You and I have differing perspectives on everything from this morning’s global sell-off on the world financial markets to the fallout of the Ashley Madison web hack debacle.

We all see things differently.  It’s meant to be that way.

Put another way, we all are positioned in a unique way to see and filter everything locally, nationally and internationally, even cosmically, is different colors, shades, shapes, nuances.

One angle is your time in human history.  Another is your geographic placement (are you Oriental or Occidental?).  How about your embedding in the economic strata?  Your level of education provides you with special tools for this task as well.

The biggest variable is the questions you ask of people and of life.  The late Rabbi Dr. Edwin Friedman shared this anonymous quote before he died: “If you do not have answers, do not feel too badly.  But if you do not have questions, you had better feel your pulse.”  A mentor of mine once told me that he asks questions to get…answers? Wrong.  “To get to better questions.”  The Socratic Method is not going away anytime soon.

You have a place in this world for a reason.  You’re not an accident (I’m a theist.)  When you ask questions, when you speak up and out, you bring–unless you’re a parrot–something unique to the discussion, new light, slightly different perspectives and colors.  And when you do, people gain greater insight.  (Do you really want to leave this to the pundits, the intelligentsia, and mainstream news media on both sides?  I didn’t think so.)

So take life in.  Ask lots of pain in the backside questions of it.  And speak up!

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Superior Experience

5 12 2013

A Superior ExperienceHere are a few questions to ask yourself as you relate to the people with whom you traffic on a daily basis.

  • Am I giving them more of the same cynical, boring, and predictable responses and input that they get from their colleagues, family, social, and mainstream media?
  • Have I passed along something of value–something that will make them think and see that their lives could be more than they are at the present moment?

Some time ago, I read  portions of Sol Stein’s remarkable book, Stein On Writing.  In it, he made his case for the ideal that the primary job of a writer is to provide the reader with a superior experience to the one he or she is currently enjoying or enduring.

How about you?  Do people leave their interactions with you challenged, invited into something new, emboldened to question the status quo?  Or are they simply having reinforced the same tired stuff they hear and see, day in and out?

It’s an important question.  And you should answer it.  Making an indelible impression takes effort, creativity, and purpose.  Do you really want to be a parrot, simply repeating what everyone hears ad nauseum?

Here’s the challenge:  Shake things up.  Give alternate, even upsetting, information.  Force, in a friendly and collegial way, your associates to look at things differently.  Reassess.  Challenge their prior commitments.

I think you’ll find, as a result, that you’ll stand out among those in their daily orbits who actually try to bring them to a better place, to more thorough thinking and planning.

In a phrase, you’re giving them a superior experience.

And isn’t that something we’re all looking for.  Try it!

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