Rob Walch, Vice President of Podcaster Relations at Liberated Syndication. More commonly known as Libsyn. This quote came from episode 45 of The Feed, the official Libsyn podcast. If you want to hear it, it happened at the 25 minute mark in the show.
“Never blame on malice that which can easily be explained by incompetence.”
Have you ever noticed how quickly we jump to the conclusion that someone has it out for us when things don’t go our way? On the individual level, that sometimes is the case, although it is less often than we ourselves think it is.
When we go there, we are thinking that the other person spends the same amount of time thinking about us and our needs as we do. But is this even possible? Turn it around and ask yourself. Is there another person in your world that you spent more time thinking about today? Someone whose welfare was more strongly in your mind than your own?
If you don’t include your own children, spouse and possibly other family members and close friends, how much time do you spend assuring the welfare of acquaintances and strangers? When faced specifically with a need, many of us will do what we can to help others, but more often, we in ignorance of their needs and agenda run rough shod right over them without realizing it. You just don’t have the time to take care of everyone.
Let’s get back to the original concept. If you don’t have enough time on a given day to be sensitive enough to consider every need that comes by you, what makes you think your personal pet peeves can be any more important to anyone else? They are doing exactly the same thing you are doing, taking care of their own concerns since you didn’t have the time to cover it for them.
So it follows that when someone rains on your parade in passing as they rush by, there is a very, very small chance that they were thinking of you at all, much less gunning for you to ruin your life. It is incredibly selfish of us to even think that others have the time to think of us as much as we think of our own problems.
Let’s take this one home. The vast majority of the time, when others offend you or step on you, they weren’t thinking of you AT ALL, much less TRYING to hurt you. They, like you, simply do not have the competence to think clearly about the needs of everyone they encounter. This is the basic human condition in a nutshell.
The final dimension is when you are dealing with large entities such as businesses, government and the like. They up front lack any human compassion. To keep track of the actual people they deal with, they assign them numbers. Being assigned a number is the first sign that you will not be treated with any consideration. The phrase, “It’s just business.” comes to mind. That is always how messing up human lives is explained.
Government is even worse in this regard. In Episode 24 of Daggers Of The Mind, I discuss the federal government’s betrayal of our veterans by the VA. Every large scale thing our inhuman government tries to do, people fall through the cracks, sometimes to their deaths.
This would be a good time for a movie quote: In first of the Star Wars movies, Princess Leia tells Governor Tarkin:
“The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”
Unfortunately this is totally true in the real world. The more control you attempt to exert, the less over all control you have. Since government is not likely to find the right balance any time in our lifetimes, incompetence will rule. They simply are not thinking of our individual needs at all. Only a large group of numbers that represent a huge group of people that are really unknown to the bureaucracy.
The bottom line is this: Most of the time, malice is not involved when something is done to you. Simple incompetence is the easy explanation because individuals, businesses and governments are just as selfish as we are.
Rod Stewart, Legendary Rocker and Scale Model Train Enthusiast
“Every three years, Model Railroader puts me on their cover, which is better than Rolling Stone.”
It is really surprising when you find out some celebrity has a talent or habit that has absolutely nothing to do with the main thing they are known for. In this case, Mr. Stewart, known for being a music superstar, is being featured on the cover of Model Railroader. I checked into it and found that he has been a scale model railroad enthusiast since childhood.
Many celebrities have unrelated talents and interests. Country star Kenny Rogers does amazing photography. Actor George Montgomery created many famous detailed bronze sculptures. Actor Dudley Moore was a renowned concert pianist. Links to these gentlemen will be included in the show notes.
Now, take a look around you. Those you know only from work, school, or church are probably hiding some really wonderful talents that you would never dream of. With my friends, I have discovered writers, singers, artists, musicians, boxers, and martial artists. Also, talented gardeners, carpenters, engineers, mechanics and myriad of other talents that are hidden from view most of the time as they go about their normal vocations.
Each person you know is actually more than you really know. You probably know barely half of what they are capable of. While some choose to make a living at their greatest talents, many choose to keep a simple job that pays the bills while using their greatest assets in their spare time doing what they love with no interference from an employer.
Just because you don’t know what their talents are, don’t write anyone off or diminish their worth as a person. There have been times when I have seen a person’s attitude take a complete turn around when it is discovered that another person has some admirable talent.
The key here is this: don’t wait until you randomly find a particular talent in someone, always assume that each person you find has just such a talent. People are like onions, they have many layers. You will never see them all, but there is some really cool stuff in there.
Have basic respect for every human you meet. Believe me, there is more value there than you will ever know.
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