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Posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Dave!If there's one behavior I've learned which has proven to be the most useful throughout my life, it would probably be "see for yourself." I know that sounds trite and simple (maybe because it is) but it's also true.

It's following this "golden rule" which has led me to such amazing experiences as visiting the Egyptian Pyramids and walking along The Great Wall of China. But it has also forced me into less literal interpretations, where my mind has been opened to new ways of thinking and finding new truths where I was once ignorant. Like that movie which critics keep telling you sucks, but you go see for yourself and end up liking it.

Today I was catching up with the internet while I was on telephone-hold hell, and ran across a company mentioning how they had been the victim of an unfair verbal attack. I kind of like the company and what they do, so my first reaction was "Yeah. YEAH! THAT ASSWIPE CAN BURN IN HELL!! HOW DARE HE ATTACK THIS COMPANY" But my mind slowly drifted back to my mantra to "see for yourself" and so I started investigating the "asswipe" in question, reading up on things he had written and looking into the things he's done.

Much to my shock and horror, I ended up really liking what I found.

No, I didn't agree with absolutely everything he says and does but, looking at the big picture, he's my kind of person. Smart, funny, opinionated, open, and a little bit caring too. He ended up being just like the people I enjoy having as friends. And once I realized that, I tracked down the actual source where he "attacked" that company I like, and found out that the situation was not quite as simple as I had been led to believe. On the contrary, by the time I had made my way through it all, my mind had changed completely. I was now turned around 180-degrees and agreeing with the "asswipe" guy.

It's not the first time it's happened. I'm sure it won't be the last.

A part of me just hates it when my initial instincts and reactions are wrong, but there's also a kind of perverse satisfaction I get when discovering that I've learned something new... the hard way.

Sometimes you just have to see for yourself.

The reward is often worth the extra effort.

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  1. CP says:

    You are so right on the money with this one. It came at a really good time for me. I need to remember this as my day progresses.

  2. Ren says:

    I’ve always felt that I’m a bit odd in that whenever I read (or hear second hand) a complaint my first instinct is to see it from the other side and come up with justifications for the behavior. Sometimes I’m right about this and sometimes I’m wrong, but I find that it usually allows me to see things more clearly.

    I also worry that it makes me a poor friend.

    • Dave2 says:

      Or it could make you a better friend… maybe the person who told you was misinformed? You then have the opportunity to set things straight from your point of view, giving them the opportunity to see for themselves and possibly reevaluate the situation. They may even end up being grateful. I know I would be!

  3. muskrat says:

    why no details, like which company and which person, here?

    • Dave2 says:

      Because I don’t want that kind of grief, as legions of people Google the fight and end up on my blog to battle it out. It’s happened before. 🙁

  4. Sybil Law says:

    Since I am so not a joiner and skeptical of nearly everyone and everything (which gives me my own set of issues), I rarely jump on any bandwagon of any kind. Still, it’s a great reminder in general. I probably needed to hear this. 🙂

  5. Semky says:

    Sound thinking and good advice. Toyota is having a tough time now with a growing number of speeding-out-of-control claims that are probably based upon bullshit versus fact. However, as a Toyota owner, I hope to not “see for yourself”, at least this one time.

  6. whall says:

    I’m too much like Ren’s example, and it causes wayyy too many fights.

  7. Sarcastica says:

    LOVE this post. So true! See for yourself is one of the greater lessons I’ve learned, along side with Never judge a book by it’s cover. I’ve read many awesome books with lame covers!

  8. Iron Fist says:

    On behalf of my fellow asswipes everywhere, thank you for letting our voices be heard.

  9. SunSpotBaby says:

    I just had one of those WOW! moments reading this current post. If the Internet never contains anything of value ever again, it will still be indispensable while one is on telephone hold!

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