Tuesday, November 25, 2014

For the Greater Good

This is a story about the time a distributor sampling his products in-store misunderstood something I said and I wrestled with whether or not to correct him and re-explain myself and it haunted me all the way home and even an hour later and then I decided to blog about it a month later.

Understand this: absolutely nothing negative came from this misunderstanding. I was looking closely at the product labels and, when he remarked on this, I said that I was in advertising—that this is what I do. I meant that I, well, make labels for products. What he thought was that I was turning all of his products to be forward facing for a better product presentation. He even got to tell a charming little chesnut about his second fridge at home and how every label is forward facing.

This was a completely positive interaction with a stranger—a real win for me, frankly. But the need to get to the deeper truth of the matter was almost unbearable.

But Why???

What is this imagined truth?

In the end I said nothing and shrugged it off. And it's not like I'm still thinking about it a month later or anything. Oh, wait...

There are very few truths in this world; the rest is all on a spectrum of grays, and practically none of them are worth wasting breath over.

Here are things that aren't worth proving yourself right over:
  • What color that wall was
  • Which way is the faster way to cook noodles
  • Which actor said that one line
  • The exact order of events in an anecdotal tidbit
  • Most other stuff and things
So what if the next time we felt the urgent need to correct someone or to interject someone's narrative with our more-factual gospel, we just paused and asked ourselves, “Why is it important that I speak up in this instant? What would do or be the greater good?” 

Now, I double dare you all to correct my thinking.


  1. These things are especially crucial when you are lying awake at 3 am. At 10 am they are totally inconsequential.

  2. there is a greater good in being understood

  3. well, at least: "a pretty good in not being misunderstood"

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Your comments are why I get out of bed in the morning. Just kidding. But I do like them.