Snippet Society

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“I must be a mermaid.  I have no fear of depth and a great fear of shallow living.”

–  Anais Nin (1903 – 1977), American – French – Cuban writer

Then here’s to the mermaids!

Listening to sports radio on a short drive, a couple of the regular hosts were talking about how little depth there was in sports fans today — and then, they readily admitted they were part of the problem.  Difference Makers ought to ask, “Are we part of the problem?”

We live in a snippet society.  It leads us to think we know when we almost never really do.  We can Tweet or Post our way into the conversation, using confrontational or confronting language and hyperbole and feed the stupidity.  If we’re not careful, we become part of the vitriol and divisiveness that makes it more and more difficult to be productive and approachable.

The snippet society has created headlines without stories behind them.  The snippet society has made us sacrifice depth of understanding for the “rush” of evoking a response.

Why is that batter in a slump?  Millions of people who’ve never played the game pontificate on what he ought to do.  Why did that amazing gymnast shut it down during the sports’ greatest ten-days?  Millions of people who can barely walk on a sidewalk, let alone do a flip on a 4-inch wide slab of wood raised more than four feet off the floor.

Why did that Client cancel their deal?  Why did that prospect buy from our competitor?  Why did that customer stay with us even when we botched her order? Why is Pat always late on our assignments?  They must be dumb, uninformed, lazy or slow.  That’s what the snippet society tells us.

Here’s the truth…

We.

Don’t.

Know.

Unless we’re willing to ask.  To go deep.  And, scary though it may be, even when we ask, even when we go deep, we still might not really know.

But we will have gone deep.  We will have exhibited enough caring and effort to try to know and we will be better for the effort.  We will stop fearing the depth and come to loathe the shallows.

Shallow people criticize the slump, critique the mental toughness and assume to know the reasons for someone else’s actions.  Shallow people are boldly, brashly over-confident without bothering to seek the truth.  Shallow people miss one fundamental truth that Difference Makers keep near the surface; Everyone has a story.

Difference Makers go deep enough to know — or at least have insight into — the stories around them.

 

 


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