Friday, November 02, 2007

Vincent Wright's Wisdom

Vincent Wright runs many dozens of internet forums and they are great place for Vincent to share his wiodm. This gem first was first published on Vincent's

"Have you ever had someone make a very, very good point - one which you could see yourself agreeing with - but you find yourself not receptive to the idea because of the way it's presented to you?

I know that the above is a complex sentence but, the essence of it is this: Say you go to a restaurant and you are given a good looking meal. You get all set to enjoy the meal but you notice that the plate is not clean or that the utensils are dirty - (likely from food left over from an earlier meal). What happens to your attitude towards the meal? ABSOLUTELY! You temporarily lose your appetite and reject the meal, right? (At least I hope you reject it! :-))

I think this good food/dirty plate metaphor is an apt one for some of the negative conversation we sometimes experience in our discussion groups: Someone presents something that makes good logical sense but we reject it because of the way it is presented. The presenter didn't take time to "clean the plate" on which they are serving their great idea.

Like food left over from a previous meal, we can sometimes forget to clean our arguments of residual attitudes left over from former arguments.

And since good meals often end with dessert, I love the idea that the etymology of the word "persuade" suggests that it literally means "through sweetness".

So, if you have something meaty you want us to consider, persuade us by serving us your food for thought in a "sweet manner" - and please use a "clean plate"! :-)"

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