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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Too Much Persuasion?

How often do you find yourself crossing the line from keeping an open mind to being too suggestible? With all the information bombarding us how does anyone avoid crossing this line routinely?

On some days (e.g. yesterday), this dilemma bedevils me. Early in the day, while in a waiting room, I read a New Yorker piece by Frank Rich. Then, mulling over his premise on the drive home, a familiar sensation overtook me - I'd been persuaded. Was it Rich's convincing writing? Were my views on this subject wishy-washy to begin with? Or using Buddha's maxim, was I ready student waiting for a teacher to appear? Much ado about nothing. Still, all day my focus was off - practicing was scattered, had trouble concentrating on my reading, couldn't land on a blog topic and gave up after staring at the screen for a while.

One of my mentors often used an expression she'd learned via a discipline called appreciative inquiry - "I'm finding myself persuaded by your position". Moved by her vulnerability every time she said this to someone, I subsequently began using it myself in an effort to be more open minded. On some days (e.g. yesterday), finding myself persuaded by a position, I reflect that my mentor's expression might have caught me in a suggestible moment. A moment, perhaps, when I was too easily persuaded.

1 comment:

  1. Written on the walls of the Garden of Eden, "he (or she) who eats fruit of the tree of knowledge had better know where the bathroom is". Arguments don't change, only people do. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways It's still rock and roll to me. Thus spoke Zarathustra. Open minded, closed minded, no minded, reminded, it's all one polemic to me. That's why God gave us the Tower of Babel and so quoth the Raven, nevermore.