I don’t know about you, but I receive at least six “self help” e-mails a day. Each suggests an article or book to read, a mantra to repeat, a persuasion technique to use, another link to click for prosperity, or a YouTube video to watch. Wow, just reading them and their suggestions takes half of my morning; I get tired thinking about just deleting some of them! Whose information and suggestions am I going to believe? Why would this guru’s suggestion be anymore compelling than the other? Which book is going to change my life? Just because it changed Fred’s life, doesn’t mean it’s going to change mine? Is that because I don’t believe, am too cynical, or just too doubtful?
Last night I was a member of a 30-person strong focus group. Now, I pride myself on being bright and up on the issues. The forms that we initially filled out in order to be “accepted” as one of the groupees (good word, yes?), lent itself to a political issue. No worries, I’m on to Sarah Palin’s new book, Obama’s Single Pay, Madoff’s non pay, the Phillies’ wins, the election for School Board in Denver, etc. Great. Well, I felt s-m-a-l-l once the facilitator asked the first questions.
Wow, trust me, reading the local section of your newspaper and following the this-doesn’t-affect-me columns will do us all a world of good; we’ll be aware and able to make an intelligent decision – on our own – whether to support the issue or the person. The evening was an eye opener for me on energy, environment and my new word of the day, Fracking! (It’s basically smashing rocks to cause a fracture to help oil or gas escape.) For three hours we were asked our opinions about drilling in a pristine area in Colorado.
The initial questions were addressed in the beginning, half way through, and then again at the end of the evening to see if there was a tip in the opinion meter after listening to the evening’s questions/answers, videos, writing exercises, and statements by the facilitator and an oil/gas company employee. Whom do you believe after hearing both sides? Whom do you listen to and why does one person persuade you more than another? It was an evening of compare and contrast, not to mention learning.
When you made a tough decision at work, home, in the voting booth, in your community or for yourself, what really turns the emotional switch that finally lights up your knowledge button for you to make the decision? Getting both sides of the issue(s) out on the table is paramount whether it’s about oil shale drilling; school, local, state or federal elections; personal relationship misunderstandings; wrong doing at home or work; or any subject. How often do you just allow another’s side slide by without getting the full story? I know I’ve done that and then changed my mind when I hear the “whole story”; an ah ha moment.
Take time to read, listen, ask questions and dig deeper on most issues that affect not only your life, but the lives of those around you – home, work, community, city, state, nation! I was humbled by how little I knew about the Colorado onshore oil and natural gas leases that will undoubtedly affect me and my future, as well as the future of younger generations. But now I’m going to be a read-all intellect…ask me about these leases in a week and I’ll persuade you to belive me!
With the information provided in three hours I changed my opinion about drilling in the pristine area of Colorado. Interesting!