Learning from Koko

We can believe what we choose. We are responsible for what we choose to believe. Cardinal John Newman 1801 – 1890 Are you good at deflecting blame? Do you act like Koko? Koko is a very famous gorilla. Her most notable claim to fame is the fact that she has mastered over 1,000 words in American Sign Language: in other words, she has the ability to communicate with humans using sign language. One day she accidentally broke one of her toys. The incident was captured on videotape, so there was no question what had occurred. The next day, when her …
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Praise or criticism

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Proverbs 9:8 At a networking function a few years ago, the developer of a product related an incident where he was offered feedback. The person giving the feedback asked the developer if he wanted praise or the truth. The implication was both daunting and clear:┬ádo you want me to tell you how great the product is, or do you want me to be honest? The developer of the product responded that he wanted the truth. Then, he said, he braced himself for the …
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Confusing facts and opinions

It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance. Epictetus 55 – 135 A.D. Often, changes happen in our lives. When these events occur, too many of us automatically assume that a specific outcome is bound to follow. In essence, we give our opinions the weight of fact, thereby influencing the subsequent events. Consider an example. A person loses his job. As a result, he assumes that he faces financial ruin. Financial calamity isn’t yet a fact; it’s an opinion. It is one interpretation of the consequences of a factual event. But when we give our …
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