Wiehann de Klerk
Every human being is right. Every person has one similar trait - that they are right.
People do what they do because they believe that what they do is the right thing to do. People don't purposely do the wrong thing. Their mind, body, and spirit are in agreement with what they are doing, even if what they are doing is inherently wrong, in the opinion of others. "My boyfriend dumped me - he is such a bad person, why would he do that?" I'll tell you why, because he knows that he did the right thing. Hitler killed many people, why? Because he believed that it was the right thing to do. In contrast, Edward Jenner saved many people by inventing the first vaccine against Smallpox. He too, believed he did what was right. Many thought that Nelson Mandela was a hero, yet, some believe that he was a terrorist. Disagreement naturally arises amongst us, but does it have to? This blog is controversial, different and most certainly, not for the soft-hearted. If you are easily offended, I recommend that you stop reading this blog, pick up a love story and read it, or even better, watch The Notebook.
For fun, let's begin by discussing government politics. It is by far, one of the most ridiculous things I have ever come across in my time here on earth. Just absurd. An entire nation believing that voting will result in the election of a president that will perfectly match the nation's needs. I hate to burst your bubble if this is you, but, this is never going to happen. Not once in history, was an entire nation thrilled by the election of a president. Everyone is right in their opinion; therefore, it is impossible for an entire nation to be happy about a president. Unless everyone has the same opinion, it will never happen. The Christians will be upset if the president supports gay marriage, the gays will not. The atheists will be excited about Christmas being called Xmas, the Christians will not. The vegans are hard to please unless the president eradicates meat and animal products from industry, and then, upon the occurrence of such a rare event, the meat eaters will soon thereafter begin their protests. It is impossible to please both the Christians and the atheists at the same time, similarly the vegans and the meat eaters. My point is this - the only solution to politics is the removal of it, and we all know this is currently a near impossibility. However, it is the only solution, and that is because everyone is right. The vegans are right - animals should not be eaten, after all, they are alive and can think for themselves and have personalities, families, and dignity just like humans, but, the meat eaters, well, that's rather self-explanatory - they eat that which should not be eaten according to vegans, yet, in their opinion, they are right. Instead of a government, a better solution is a range of communities, run by elders that share the same values as the followers within those communities. After all, no one wants to follow someone that disagrees with them. I do not follow Malcolm Turnbull, the former Prime Minister of Australia. I do not agree with any of his beliefs and values, and as a result, I do not follow him. Riots only occur when a large group of people do not have the opportunity to follow a leader that share their values and believes. Simple. Imagine if every suburb is a community, and within each community, there is a group of people that share the same values. These communities would not need to raise 40% tax like some nations. 5% would probably do it, and these communities will be run perfectly according to their own goals which will be unique and collaboratively agreed upon. This is a great model, and not as ridiculous as an entire nation following one man to represent them all.
"Man is not free unless government is limited." Ronald Reagan
Think about an atheist for example - they choose to believe that they come from nowhere. They choose to make that choice. Christians on the other hand, choose to believe that have been created for a purpose and are loved by God. Both are right. I'm a Christian, and therefore, I believe that atheists are wrong, but just because I believe that they are wrong doesn't mean that I should tell them that they are wrong. The act of telling them that they are wrong doesn't make any sense. It is similar to telling a person that drinks water to hydrate, that the act of drinking water will, in fact, dehydrate them. They will look at you like you misplaced your brain, and can't find it. They know that drinking water will hydrate them. Unless you have substantial evidence that they are wrong, it is better to keep your thoughts to yourself. Instead of telling an atheist that they are wrong, it is best to simply share your thoughts, and values with them, and to love them.
"Love is something that can be done toward someone else, not something that just happens."
Understanding that all humans are right places us on a platform from which we can view the world. Living with this "humans are right" mentality enables us to understand others. Every human in the world today longs to be understood and to feel important. Now, how can anyone be understood if they are told that they are wrong? And, how can anyone feel important if they are not listened to? Let me give you a snapshot of a recent conversation I had with a vegan at a networking event:
Tom (real name not used here): Wiehann, why do you eat meat?
Wiehann: Because meat contains ten times more protein than vegetables.
Tom: But, can't you get protein from other vegan sources such as vegan protein powders?
Wiehann: Yes I can, and they are far more expensive.
Tom: Yes, but you should because it is respectful towards the animals.
Wiehann: Tom, you are right. I guess the reason I haven't is because it is costly. I need to budget.
Tom: Are you saying that your budget is more important than the lives of animals?
Wiehann: What I am saying that you are right, and, I am also saying that, in order for us to change the behavior of the whole world, we must work to reduce the price of vegan alternatives.
The conversation continued, and by the end of it, Tom was excited about speaking on some strategies on how we can tackle the meat-eating issue. By simply understanding that he is right and that I too am right, we were able to have a deep heart to heart conversation about something that he was passionate about - animals. If I immediately disagreed with him, we most probably would never have made acquaintance with one another. I also, always, use the word 'and' instead of 'but.' One is negative and one is positive. When you fill conversations with words that are positive, the conversation naturally follows in a positive direction. Having the perspective that someone is right enables us to quickly build rapport with others. Rapport is made complicated by many so-called "gurus" in the world today, yet, it is very simple - building rapport is all about maximizing sameness and minimizing differences. But, how can we increase sameness if we tell them they are wrong? Doing so will not increase sameness, and will instead, maximize differences. If you love Rugby, you do not hang with a bunch of Tennis players, no, you hang with your Rugby friends at a pub, have a beer and speak tackles, scrummage, and broken bones. A relationship occurs when two or more people are in relation to one another. To relate is to be in connection with, in other words, to have similarity and to establish rapport. For example, a tennis player hanging with a rugby player won't be able to converse about tennis with the rugby player unless the rugby player is equally interested in tennis. There needs to be some core elements of similarity between people for rapport to occur.
"The building of rapport is the occurrence of sameness between people; differences, the flames that burn it down."
We must maximize sameness to build rapport. All humans have something in common. All! This makes it easier: By knowing that every individual with whom we converse with has some similarities to us, we can do our best to identify what those similarities are and then make them evident in the discussion. Be similar in every possible way. The Rugby player, despite his many 'manly' interests, will have certain other interests that are similar to the Tennis player, and, if these two individuals can bypass their differences and find their similarities, they can relate and establish rapport with one another. Many take it farther and imply that having the same body movements and gestures, rhythm of breath, energy level and tone of voice as the person with whom they converse, is important. I believe that every one of these has its time and place to be used. For example, you don't want to mimic anyone, and you may not want to raise your voice when someone else raises theirs. Although, the rhythm of breath and energy level is very important. A quiet and laid back person, in the moment, probably doesn't want to be contacted or visited by an overly enthusiastic and energetic salesman. Rhythm of breath works softly, yet powerfully. These are the small things that you can work on over time, however, let's start with the basics of maximizing sameness:
The reality is, that people like people like them. People are naturally infatuated by themselves. Nothing wrong with this, its human nature. Every single friend that you have had, and every single friend that you have in your life, has had and have the same mindset, mentality, interests, and likes and dislikes as you. Maybe not exactly the same but they are closely correlated. If you are passionate about manufacturing, you join groups and follow people and companies that also, are related to, or passionate about manufacturing. If you are a musician, you follow other musicians and bands in your preferred genre. If you are a singer, you follow great singers that sing songs that you like. You follow people that you like. A young lad passionate about football most probably follows a football team, perhaps Arsenal or maybe Chelsea, not a Netball team. At a minimum, you like people that like what you like, that are passionate about what you are passionate about. I love ten pin bowling - it's something I love doing. One of my friends, Matt, is also passionate about it. We even purchased our own personalized/customized bowling balls and we bowl together frequently. We have many similar interests and passions; we also have many dissimilar passions and interests. Yet, these dissimilarities are not evident in our friendship. We don't bring up our opposites - we only bring up our similarities. Ten pin bowling, gaming, paintballing to name a few. I guess you can say that my friend, Matt, is my leisure friend. I'm a Christian, he is not and many of our values are very dissimilar, however, we focus on the similarities. We have identified the similarities and we have decided to focus on that. Sometimes we discuss our differences but we discuss it as a way of understanding. We share our values with one another as a way of strengthening our friendship, understanding each other better. Is this the way you share your values with others or do you share it in a way that causes tension and distance?
"People like people like them."
Points to ponder:
Who in your life did something that was right, but, was wrong from your perspective? Do you still have a relationship with them? If not, what are some ways in which you can rectify the relationship? In what area of your life can you apply this blog?
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