Another in my FS (the Far Side): series of blog posts.
Trying to understand a situation through someone else's perspective is critical.
To do this you need to take a step back, withdraw your own conclusions and ask yourself why? If you spoke a different language, lived in a different climate, had a different educational background, or if your experiences were not the same as another person, you would likely come to different conclusions. Try to find them.
How we communicate has changed dramatically.
Today, it is very easy to connect with people the world over. At the same time, more and more frequently these interactions are filtered and 'personalized' based on past activity and consumption.
As a result, despite the abundance of information available, we are seeing more and more of what is consistent with what we've seen in the past. Our past is constantly being reinforced with similar content creating an echo-chamber of information.
You have to break out of these barriers and think more broadly in order to take advantage of what is available today, or you'll be destined to make assumptions.
This is the fourth in my writing prompts using aphorisms from Gracian's Pocket Oracle.
Both reality and manner. Substance is not 'stance' enough: you must also heed circumstance. The wrong manner turns everything sour, even justice and reason. The right one makes up for everything: it turns a 'no' golden, sweetens truth, and makes even old age look pretty. The 'how' of things is very important, and a pleasant manner captures the affection of others. A bel portarse is precious in life. Speak and act well and you will get out of any difficult situation.
This one is straight-forward. It is more important how you deliver your message than the accuracy of the message. Gracian supports this by stating that even justice and reason can be undone by poor delivery, whereas the right manner of delivery 'makes up for everything'.
Maybe Gracian is so direct in this instance, because it is so hard for a younger person who is more idealistic to accept it.
Despite age and experience, I don't want to accept it. I want to believe truth exists, that something just will be accepted and that reason will be understood.
The sad fact is that Gracian appears to be mostly right.
It is too good to be true! We are taught if it seems to good to be true, it probably is, yet there are those people who keep putting 'it' out there and other people who keep accepting it as true, until they learn the hard way it is not.
Which brings us around to vanity. Gracian isn't saying directly that you are vain, but he is saying that vanity plays into what people want to believe and hence they do. If you want to get out of any given situation, you need to speak well and back it with your physical being - your expression and body language. It requires not one or two aspects only, but a complete package to achieve success.
Introducing the FS (the Far Side): series of blog posts. In the midst of cleaning out a drawer this past weekend, I came across a stack of one a day calendar tear-offs featuring Gary Larson's the Far Side that I had kept and not looked at in some time. I figured it would be fun to revisit them and comment in posts for each.
This begs the question, how do you know unknowns or consider unknown-unknowns? And for this you need a comparison to 'normalcy' or in other words an expectation. It could even be to an ideal.
The difference, a gap analysis, between what you see and what you expect helps identify what is missing or additive, between the two. Now you have a sense of your known-unknowns.
The unknown-unknowns are often factors that lead to disruption. They are the 'things' that are not the norm, they are 'outside the box', they are likely to lead to radical change, for better or worse.
These are much harder to identify and sometimes simply the awareness of them with a general understanding to be alert to them will prepare one to deal with them if they arise.
When one thinks about it, most of us are employed by the fact that there are problems that need to be solved. And most of life is a sequence of problems to solve and challenges to overcome. Then once in a great while, we get confronted with the absurd (think the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man) and Larson reminds us that it is okay to laugh at it.