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All of us at Insight Principles would like to wish you and yours the most joyous holiday season! We look forward to sharing more insights with you in 2017.
Happy New Year!
Robin, Ken, Nikki, and Sandy
A Tale of “2” Holiday Gift Wrappers
As 2016 and the holiday season come to a close, I wanted to share a favorite story from one of our clients. I’ll call him Ted.
Ted had finished his holiday shopping and was sitting in the food court waiting for his wife. She finally arrived and said she had one more gift to buy and would Ted please take a gift to be gift wrapped. Ted agreed and got into the line at the gift wrapping department.
As Ted waited he overheard the gift wrapper behind the counter muttering and complaining. She clearly wasn’t having a good day. Ted began to dread his turn in line. Sure enough, his interaction with the gift wrapper was most unpleasant. He considered asking to see the woman’s supervisor but walked away disgruntled.
He met his wife again in mall and she remembered yet another gift she had to buy. She gave Ted all her packages and told him she would meet him in the car. When Ted’s wife returned to the car she was full of enthusiasm.
“I just had the most delightful encounter,” she said. “I bought a small vase to bring to the Murphy’s party and I wanted to get it gift wrapped.”
Ted of course expected to hear his wife describe an interaction with the cranky gift wrapper. Instead she had a very different story to tell.
“When I got to the gift wrapping department I had a lovely conversation with the gift wrapper. Turns out we have similar tastes. She loved the vase I picked out. We chatted on and on. As I walked away from the counter it occurred to me, why not give the gift wrapper the vase? She liked it so much. How often do I get a chance to be nice to a total stranger? So I returned to the counter and gave the vase to her.”
“You know what happened next? She started to cry. It really touched her. We both were crying and hugging each other. It was a beautiful moment. I think this will be the highlight of my holiday!”
Ted was dumbfounded. He asked his wife, “Did the gift wrapper have blonde hair and was she wearing a blue sweater?”
“Yes, why?” inquired his wife.
Ted and his wife encountered the same person behind the gift wrapping counter, but Ted had not seen the same person as his wife. Ted and his wife, like all of us, live in separate realities. We all live in realities crafted from the inside-out by our thinking. It can look like we see an objective reality but when we look a little deeper we realize that we cannot see or experience things the same way, unless we have exactly the same thoughts.
This implication of how the mind works is ordinary but profound. We think we are seeing the same movie in the theater as our family member sitting next to us but are surprised with what they say about it afterwards. We believe we have clearly communicated to our colleagues or team and are flabbergasted when they go off and do something contrary to what we were asking or suggesting. We have a strong view about someone, either positive or negative, and a coworker has a completely different view. The list goes on endlessly.
We underestimate the power of the mental creative process in generating our experience and everyone’s experiences from within. We have our unique thinking, and hence we live in very distinct and different realities.
Realizing this fact results in more humility, better listening, the option of forgiveness, and a keen interest in the wisdom within other people. And it allows our view of people to change. We might even give them a vase.
©Insight Principles, Inc.