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 Does every village NEED at idiot?

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Zorro
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Registration date : 2009-03-15

PostSubject: Does every village NEED at idiot?   Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:54 am

Most of us probably practice some technique to 'test' our perspective by looking at another one. Getting locked into our viewpoints can be a very bad habit.
One exercise I use to try to see things in broader perspective helps me to appreciate people more. If I come across someone who annoys me or that I find simply rubs me the wrong way, I imagine them in the "Alas, Babylon" scenario. I think about what this person's value would be to the 'new' community if we were suddenly cut off from the rest of the world and had only ourselves to rely on for everything -- food, shelter, society, survival. No electricity, no internet, no outside world.

This mental exercise has helped me to see much about individual people. The coworker whose perfectionism and smugness irks me is seen in a whole new, valuable light. She happens to be very well informed, is usually right, knows a lot about a lot, and has good health advice to give in countless situations, from bee stings to post-surgical recovery. She would be a very valuable person to have in this isolated community situation.

"Alas, Babylon" is a nuclear holocaust book written in the 1960s by Pat Frank. It's an excellent read, but I derived an even greater value from it by sometimes using its setting to look at a different perspective of people. By chance, this small area of Florida is spared from global "mutually assured destruction," but they have to contend with building a survivable life from very little that is left. Ordinary people become valuable or dangerous in the new environment. This book has many levels to appreciate.

My point? It would be best to read the book first (you will be glad you did), BUT -- choose a person in your encounters. Put them in the "we only have ourselves to depend on" world with you, and try to imagine their value. (RESIST the temptation to thing here about various reality TV shows -- they are utter crocks. Performing for money in a contrived setting that exploits people's willingness to make narcissistic fools of themselves has nothing to do with survival.)

Really think about how this person would contribute over days, months, years. Now -- Does it change your perspective of them? If for the better, then lighten up on them. If for the worse...avoid them as much as possible because they add nothing to your world and may drain on good energy.
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BlueBird
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PostSubject: Re: Does every village NEED at idiot?   Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:52 am

I have read this book in highschool back in the 80's. What a great way to receive this book and look at others! It is much how the Native Americans would say, "Walk a mile in another's shoes". There is a lot of wisdom regarding dealing with other people. The key word is "wisdom". Thank you for your beautiful words of wisdom, Zorro!
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Zorro
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PostSubject: Re: Does every village NEED at idiot?   Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:07 am

Thanks for your kind words, BlueBird. Some of my friends are Native Americans, and I have learned much from them. But I also have close friends who are Latter Day Saints, Catholics, Protestants, and "other."
There are lessons everywhere. The thread in what draws my attention, I guess, would be respect. That's one level below love, which is the top level in my own little heirarchy -- if I focus on those two levels, they seem to contain nearly all that is worth focusing on.
I watch how people are with children and animals -- that's a huge indicator of what's going on with them. Sort of the 'short cut' to the important stuff.
Cheers.
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