Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Greater Test of our Character Attributions

“Sow a thought, create an action; sow an action, create a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

—Pastor Hans van Asselt.

Visits to the pharmacy often present just as much room for learning as sitting in front of the wealthiest sage. On a recent excursion to fill a script I was asked whether I wished to wait ten minutes or longer i.e. was I going away to do some other shopping? I must have been quite mentally bedraggled as the customer service officer gave a surprised shrillish look when as I replied, I also quickly changed my mind. I detected a note of sarcasm in her body language (but later I had cause to change my mind).

I always cherish customer service experiences—these are the everyday keys to the human heart because we often get to see what’s really inside the person serving behind the counter.

Amy (her real name) in this instance was registering surprise for any number of reasons. Like all human beings I quickly made an instinctive attribution of her reaction.

But when I returned later and I was once again served by Amy I was pleasantly surprised to be met with not a hint of anything untoward. It appeared I’d judged her wrongly and I was glad of this opportunity to learn again about the nature of human nature; one glimpse is hardly enough to condemn a person, is it?

I could easily have propagated the wrong perception from this one little preceding action, thinking of her response as a dead ringer for her character. How wrong would I have been?

We are the sum of our parts, of the attitudes and behaviours we present. We not only need to be wary in gauging a whole person from the little glimpses we see, we ought also to know that we ourselves will have a picture frame hung around our own faulty acts of living glory.

The quote at top is a wisdom truism. The perceptions of people may nowhere near approach the rigour of this truth, but to people they’re representative of their truth, and for some it’s an unchangeable reality! Buyer beware...

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

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