Random Post, Part ??Posted: January 5, 2012
Someone recently told me that he considered the importance of allowing other people to make mistakes, be rude, or otherwise be flawed without interfacing with them and wasting your own time.
I have a couple of reactions to this:
1) I think that the “allowing” skill comes in handy from time to time. It allows a person not to interface with another’s personal flaws or temporary errors (e.g. someone says something insulting). Often, such engagement is a drain of time and energy. Perhaps it makes sense to move along with one’s own life during the swirl of human activity that contains so many chances to deviate from a productive path. I think the guy’s point to me was that we should acknowledge our desire to correct or engage with someone’s flaws but to simply allow that person to be flawed–as we are ourselves–and maintain our own course.
2) My other reaction was provoked in part by a conversation with my friend DK, who noted that many times we need to interface with flaws. Your kid acts up? You should interface. A subordinate at work isn’t pulling his weight or commits errors? You should interface.
Knowing the difference between the two is the trick.
A law school professor once told me, “Life is 90% showing up, 10% critical decisions, and wisdom is knowing the difference between the 90 and the 10.” Cliche? Check. Probably somewhat true? Check.
My point? I hardly have one (as usual), but this concept of allowing others their flaws so you don’t deviate from your own productivity is worth consideration.
Enough with the psychoanalysis. Don’t waste your time on relatively-meaningless fights–like these guys did: