On Me Not Being Stupid

Ok, so it’s a provocative headline.

I seem to find it passing strange that some people just don’t “get it” and never seem to be able to “get it”.  I have always supposed it has to do with perspective and where you sit, but as I have had cause to reflect on this, I realised that, well, the issue is mine.


Unfortunately, we often view the world through our own set of glasses/perspective and, unless what we see is in line with what we expect, we can often rebel against it.  This can have varying levels of impact on your life.

This was sheeted home to me a little while ago when I was speaking with one of my really, really valued customers – over the years he has developed into a friend.  In response to some open discussions at the start of our meeting, I was so caught up with what I was prattling on about, I totally missed the messages that he was sending out – it was only when I asked him a question as I was leaving that the reality hit home!  My focus had been so internal, so “selfish” that I hadn’t done for him what he was doing for me – listening properly.

After I had realised the fact that my approach had been totally wrong, we sat down again and spent some really good space discussing the issues that were important to and impacting on him.  The best outcome from this is that our  understanding and relationship has developed even further and our appreciation of our respective situations and experiences has deepened markedly.

It comes down to learning coming from mistakes.  I made a mistake and I have learned a lesson as a consequence.  One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is real time and attention to listen to and hear and respond to and support each other.

This isn’t a mea culpa – far from it.  I am wanting to share my experience so that it serves as a reminder for me that I need to be focused on the right things at the time – to give of my best, but also as a prompt for the few readers out there that have read this far to keep their eyes up, ears open and attention focused where it should be.

In the words of Paul Gaugin:

We never really know what stupidity is until we have experimented on ourselves.

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1 Comment
  • Reply

    A timely reminder Matthew – we were both first introduced to this concept a few decades ago if memory serves.
    I find it interesting that as we grow/mature/change our focus often swings back to self – and this is not a bad thing in assimilating our personal changes – and we oft times need a small reminder to include and respect our interactions with others in our changed focus.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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