I don’t know about you, but I hate buying a car. Haggling with someone who is openly deceitful and dishonest is not my idea of a fun sport. In places like Morocco and Turkey, haggling is not only the national sport, it has been raised to an art. You are invited into a shop and shown some goods, then invited to share a cup of tea, and negotiate, and negotiate, and then negotiate some more. Come on, give me a decent price, maybe I’ll counter and then you can meet me in the middle. This week I gave some thought as to what I dislike about the selling, not only of cars or carpets, but ideas, philosophy, and spiritual beliefs as well.
I’ll never forget the reason someone gave me for disliking, and not trusting, a well-known and well-respected minister. You see, this person’s spouse had problems with substance abuse and other addictions as well. When the spouse got involved with a national sell from your home company, the company had motivational tapes to inspire you, to trick more friends, coworkers, and family to come hear how they could join your sales team and make lots of money. Well, the speaker on those motivational tapes was the well-known minister. This meant that everything positive and helpful in his spiritual messages was rejected, based on the fact that he was seen as a salesman, not a spiritual adviser.
I have had the pleasure of dealing with many knowledgeable and friendly salesmen, who helped me determine what would best meet my needs and do so at a reasonable cost. But allow me to sum up what I dislike about the others:
Trying to sell me something I don’t want or something in which I am not interested. If I know I don’t want it, please don’t waste my, or your, time.
Trying to sell me something that is too expensive, that is not at a fair and reasonable price. I have to do my homework and rely on knowledgeable resources so that I can evaluate what is reasonable and fair.
Being openly deceitful and dishonest, spinning yarns that just aren’t so. These people make me appreciate all the more the person who tells me what they have learned from their own experience with different products, and sometimes even recommends a different source that might better meet my needs.
I was thinking about these things this week as I examined my motivation and desires for sharing in this blog, and sharing in conversations with others – whether at Mardi Gras, at work, or with relatives and family. My goal is not to sell or convince someone to be more like me, or to change themselves in a manner I would approve of. My goal is to share what I have learned that has helped me in understanding love, building and improving my marriage, and what has given me strength in dealing with my struggles. There are things I have learned by making mistakes, and it is always better for us to learn from the mistakes of others rather than have to repeat the same mistakes.
They say that sharing is caring. Caring is important in many areas. I can sum up what I said about a great boss as one who cares about his employees, and wants to support and provide resources to accomplish the task. My observation about the most important characteristics of a great employee is similar to those of the great boss (since almost all my employees were already knowledgeable about their duties). With a positive attitude, a sincere caring is what most differentiates an outstanding employee from another. In love relationships as well, when we truly care we truly share – time, money, feelings and emotions, and love. In the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, caring and sharing are what set the Good above the rest.
My hope is that each time I share there is one person with whom what I share resonates. And that in turn at least one person will be helped or inspired, or find a resource that will also resonate with them, and in some way improve their state. I have been surprised by some who have shared back that they have found some help or inspiration. As I approach 60 years of age, having lived in Spain 10 years and traveled all over the world, I have found especially the last couple years that there are many things that can still amaze me. Even when the amazement seems to be in a negative sense, it is refreshing to find that there are still surprises to experience that can in turn provide the source for more sharing.