Captain’s Log 5,860
Most of the time, we view the world through our PERCEPTION of what we think is real or what we assume is the truth. We all wear filters and use them constantly.
We see shadows, we judge books by their covers, we think we know.
Years ago I was a training helper bee for a management consultant company. We traveled all over the United States and showed people how to be nice to their employees. We showed them how to make the most of the oddballs on their staff who seems to march to different drummers, use different filters to see problems and opportunities, etc. Here is a description from their website:
RapidChange Group was formed when a nun, a brain researcher, and a Fortune 500 executive got together and asked a simple question:
“Why do so few companies and so few corporate initiatives succeed?”
So that’s what we did. After about a year, they realized that I was the oddball on their own staff who saw the world differently. So rather than embrace me as they taught their clients to do (for $80,000 a pop), they fired me. I found it quite amazing. I was the poster child for what they were teaching. I no longer perceived these people as professional and loaded with the integrity they pretended to espouse. I saw them as complete and total opportunists who simply jabbered on about something lofty and then turned around and destroyed people. I think they are a lot like evangelists who go on and on about purity of heart and then fuck their babysitters or pick up young male hookers on the internet. I am very glad none of them wanted to fuck me or demanded that I work as a prostitute, but what I endured with them was awful enough.
So one day when I was working like a fool for this company in upstate New York (getting the seminar ready), I came across a rumpled old man standing on the dock in front of a retreat center at Lake George. It was a beautiful place. We were the only two people on campus that early Sunday morning. I had arrived a day ahead of schedule to set up the training.
The Inn at Silver Bay. Located on Thomas Paine’s estate. This building was built in 1902 and is actually a YMCA facility now.
At first I thought he might be a janitor. I approached him carefully, armed only with a bag of M&M’s I was able to get from the vending machine (since food service didn’t start until dinner that day). We stood on the dock together. He was in sleepy pants and a jacket. I had on real pants and a jacket. After a pleasant discussion for 15 minutes or so, he told me who he was. He was Daniel Berrigan, the famous Catholic priest who became one of the most notable war protesters of all time. Indeed. There I was eating M&M’s with one of my long-time heroes. He was leaving that afternoon, so our time was limited.
We enjoyed the morning time and the candy, and then we went our separate ways. I will never forget that. I will also never forget that I perceived him to be someone other than Daniel Berrigan.
You just never know who is walking your path with you. You never know where or when. My point is….assume everyone is Daniel Berrigan in one way or another. Or Batman.