Kat felt weak in her knees, but she stood strong. Because that was what she’d always done. Stood strong.
“So who are you really, Father Johnny?”
“The real question, Kat, is who are you? If you can understand yourself, then you’ll know where my journey started. Do you believe in God?”
“So then, I was once who you are today, ” he said. “If you want to understand me, you have to understand yourself. Why don’t you believe?”
“For starters? Because everyone runs around killing in God’s name.”
“But that’s a child’s answer and you’re already sixteen. You don’t know much about religion, do you?”
“Do you know the difference between Christianity and Islam?”
“Why are we talking about this? You’re trying to get me to convert? There’s a reason why religion is not allowed in the schools. Because it brings out the kooks!”
“Please, humor me. The difference between Christianity and Islam?”
“How should I know? One prays in a mosque, one prays in a cathedral.”
“So you know nothing. To you God is simply an extension of foolish religion. And if religion had much to do with God, I might agree with you. If you want to accept my help, the first thing you’ll need to do is set any notion you have of religion aside. Put everything you think you know about Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, all of it behind you. If you can do that, I may be able to help you.”
“What are you trying to do? Convert me?”
“You’ve demonstrated that you have no true moral compass. No fundamental beliefs that guide what is right or wrong in this world. How can you hope to recognize good and evil for what they truly are if you have no belief in a moral authority greater than yourself?”~ from Sinner, by Ted Dekker
Well, if you’re still reading, that means the mention of God doesn’t scare you. Congratulations!
So why the heck is there a quote from a Christian suspense writer on a business blog? Because it is a perfect example of the reality of perception.
Forming Your Reality
Each of us has a unique reality that we live in everyday. That reality is formed from our thoughts, beliefs, experiences.
When you were a child, you most likely spent hours imagining you were a princess, a horse wrangler, a pirate, a knight in King Arthur’s court, or a garbage man. (I was the knight, my brother was the garbage man.)
Most people think that as we age, we cease to create those pretend worlds. We don’t. We simply convert that imagination into a belief system, hobbies (like gaming), or communication skills. Some of us read obsessively as an outlet for that imagination, some of us write obsessively- but the imaginary world continues.
What’s the Point?
It’s important to remember that not everyone has the same reality as you. Some, like Kat, are completely reactive to situations in their life. Their thoughts and beliefs are handed down from generation to generation, or rubbed off from peers, authority figures, and the media. Not everyone actively pursues a belief system.
This disparity can drastically affect your business. Assumptions about your client’s or co-worker’s way of life and knowledge base can turn a relationship sour, fast. (especially on the Internet)
Never assume that someone else knows where you are coming from or understands an implied message. Cultures are different, values differ, and beliefs vary. Be up front, be crystal clear, and always be honest. Good communication always begins with honesty.
We’ll be discussing communication this week at Blue Duck. Stay tuned, we’ve got some good stuff planned for this week!