When I was teaching Grade 8, I was known for carrying my books in a laundry tub, telling great stories and, on the first day of class, I would introduce my students to the infamous list of my fifteen quirks. I actually think that my students looked forward to watching me act out all those humorous irritations. Things like: no three hole punching done in class – no asking each other after a test, “What did you get?” – when you answer a question, talk loudly and look up – and in my opinion, there IS such a thing as a dumb question. Believe it or not, my students listened and it saved me a lot of grief. So thank you!
Today I was reminded of another one of my quirks. Why is it that so many people assume the worst of others and make unilateral decisions, instead of asking them straight out? Let me give you an example. One of the possible requirements of a book proposal can be that the writer needs to have considered and made efforts towards finding possible endorsers for the book, as well as finding someone to write the foreword. It’s difficult to get out there and start making phone-calls to well- known people and “pitch” your ideas for a book that is not finished. It is tempting to quickly conclude, “Oh, that person is too busy. There’s no point even trying to contact her/him.” However, I’ve decided to go ahead and make the calls and let people make their own decisions as to whether they’re too busy to meet with me. I have been pleasantly surprised with the results.
I’ve seen this happen so often with family and friends. We make a decision not to invite someone to a party because they probably won’t come. We decide that we won’t bother asking someone to help with a move because they won’t have time. Or we decide on our own that someone will most likely be working late that night so why waste time talking with him? We do this a lot. We just need to take the risk and ask. Let people make their own decisions. Don’t assume the worst. You would be surprised how often people actually say “yes.” If you don’t ask, you won’t get!
…something to think about, right?