“What is beauty or ugliness but a false front that prompts man to make assumptions rather than delving deeper.” ~Kristin Callihan
What do you do when you receive a package? Do you spend time examining it, shaking it, and assuming what it might contain? And does the wrapping affect your attitude about what’s in it? Kind of like Forrest Gump and his box of chocolates. Well, that’s what we sometimes do with life situations. If a situation doesn’t come in a pretty package, we may assume it’s not what we want and discard it, missing something wonderful wrapped inside.
Many years ago, I took a job with a mental health team in a county jail setting, not the kind of work I wanted. But I took it until I could find one wrapped in a prettier package. My attitude wasn’t productive until I began to open the package and notice the many unexpected rewards in my work. I gradually realized I was in the right place, and spent 10 years in a job I loved. I would have missed that wonderful experience had I not looked past my initial assumptions.
The packaging can work the opposite way too. A certain situation in your life may seem to be dripping in pretty tinsel, so you accept it with great anticipation, only to find it’s last week’s trash. I learned that lesson. It was the dead of winter when my heat and air unit went out. Freezing. Then came a fast talking salesman glittering in fancy talk and promises of instant warmth. The package he presented brought visions of heat melting the ice from my frozen toes, and I never thought about opening the package to see what was really inside until I realized I’d been financially taken.
“Untested assumptions and lazy habits of thought can be shown up, once put in a spotlight of a different hue.”
Almost every day we’re confronted with something new, and our favorite way to deal with unfamiliar people and situations is to assume the nature of what we encounter. But clinging to assumptions with old ways and ideas can sometimes bring results we don’t want. It’s wise to look closer with different eyes. There may be a prize in the Cracker Jack box…or not. But you have to look inside to find out.
People in your life: Have you ever accepted someone in your life and wished you hadn’t…or didn’t and wished you had? Opening the package first might have helped. Learn to distinguish between the honey-drippers, manipulators, sour-faces, and the for-real-genuine-ones. Some may be self-serving, some just unhappy, and others may actually be what you see at first. But know what you want, and know what you’re getting.
I once met someone who’s habit of giving me advice got on my nerves. But looking deeper, I saw a kind, loving side to her. So I ignored her bothersome habit and enjoyed her other qualities. And we became close friends.
Situations: Whether its work, finances, a place to live, repair needs, activities…whatever, don’t make snap judgments. Look past appearances to the whole picture, and know what’s involved. Get used to checking inside the package before you decide to keep it or let it go, so you don’t end up with something you don’t want.
Summary: Choices influence the quality of your life, and you want to make good choices. So when possible, sufficiently research and learn what’s behind the scenes. You will at times make mistakes. We all do. But by opening the package before you choose will minimize those mistakes. And your life will flow more harmoniously.
I wish you clear vision and happy results . . .
Marilyn Fowler, Author
Books by Marilyn.