Monday, November 16, 2009

The Exchange Principle

I am truly benefiting a lot from reading Winning with People by John Maxwell. Among his many gifts is his uncanny ability to read people very well. I talked about this in my sermon Consider the Water, which is based on the famous "This is Water" commencement speech by David Foster Wallace.

Wallace said this:
"A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. Here's one example of the utter wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely talk about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness, because it's so socially repulsive, but it's pretty much the same for all of us, deep down. It is our default-setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth."

Anyway, in talking about the Exchange Principle in his Patience principle, Maxwell wrote this:

To develop patience, you need to appreciate how other people think and be sensitive to how people feel. Every person thinks... ...
- his problems are biggest
- his jokes are the funniest
- his prayers should get special attention
- his situation is different
- his victories are the most exemplary
- his faults should be overlooked

So true.

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