Thought of the day...

Once upon a time, the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a
“New World,” so they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running,
climbing, swimming, and flying. To make it easier to administer, all animals took all the subjects.
The duck was excellent in swimming, better in fact than his instructor, and made excellent grades in
flying, but he was very poor in running. Since he was low in running he had to stay after school and
also drop swimming to practice running. This was kept up until his web feet were badly worn and he
was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that
except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so
much makeup in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustrations in the flying class where his
teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the tree-top down. He also developed
charley horses from over-exertion and he got a C in climbing and a D in running.
The eagle was a problem child and had to be disciplined severely. In climbing class he beat all the
others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way of getting there.
At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well and also could run, climb
and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not
add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to the badger and later
joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

stay tuned


Wow, that’s really depressing :expressionless: . What brought it on, if I may ask?

It is an interesting story though, and I’m interested to see where it goes…

It actually sounds a lot like the education system (at least here in the US where we have high school). It isn’t quite as bad as this story, but it does relate. Personally, I have had to suffer a lot in what I am inherently good at in order to do ok in other areas to be “well rounded”. Although being well rounded is good, one may be able to contribute a lot more to society by getting really good at what they were meant to be good at rather than being average at everything. If everyone is average at everything, nothing would happen because those that should be able to think out of the box and in new ways towards certain issues get too bogged down in maintaining the “norm” in those fields they have trouble with.

Anyway, enough rambling…
I actually like this kind of story. It brings up a lot of things that can be related to.

I agree with syrux’s interpretation, I can relate.


well the thing is you all need to learn some basics, so that you can communicate. everything above that IMO can be specialised.

how does one function if they cannot count their change?

how does one function if they cannot read or write?

how does one function if they don’t know basic science?

not everyone should be expected to be a building and a scientist and a rigger and a coder…

but all those should be expected to be able to communite with each other on a lowest common denomiator level.


Lowest Common Denominator… PAH! Most TV is made for the LCD. Why do you suppose most TV sucks?

He’s not saying “cater to the lowest common denominator.” He’s saying that everyone needs to have at least the ability to communicate, do basic math, and understand how some things work. He’s defining a (pretty adequate, I may add) common denominator that even the lowest in society should have.

That said… LohnC, you have my attention. This sounds like it’s going to be interesting.

There is a word, “world”. Until about the time when I was in middle school, I vaguely thought the word meant the area where the signals from my cell would reach, but why is it my cell never reaches anyone. Hello? Say, isn’t anyone there? How far should I go? I’m lonely. Noboru? I’m going home okay? Say, where am I? Oh, that’s right, I’m not in that world anymore.

real good onecoming tomorrow

oh crap…he has been hanging around basse too much…

i like the story a lot though. but i guess i can relate to were you are coming from. but i say in defense of school (college, high school, middle school) you are only trapped untill you are 18 or the 12th grade. then you are free to make your own decisions and excel at what you want, what you love, and are passionate about!

you can countinue to use school, society, family, friends as a cruch as to why you do not do what it is that you want to do. but in the end everyone knows it is only you standing in the way of doing with you life what you would like to do. i say dont be a bitch, do what you want in life and forget what everyone else tells you you should do with it.

So this is what working on an animation full-time does to you. I have no idea what this is about. What I find quite funny is that because you’re the one posting it LohnC, everyone goes, yeah, yeah I know what you mean and tries to come up with an answer when it seems to me they don’t have much of a clue either. If it was someone else who posted it, they’d say, wtf you been smokin’?

Please don’t take that the wrong way. I’ll reserve final judgement for what you come up with next but those first two posts are looking mighty weird. Almost as if one of the project orange team has hijacked your account and is posting weird stuff under your name to see what kind of reaction they get. Man that would be funny. Well, I think it’d be funny anyway.

I have a few questions:

who is Noboru?

but why is it my cell never reaches anyone. Hello? Say, isn’t anyone there?

Do you know how to use a keypad and a phone book? You have to dial extra numbers for international calls.

How far should I go?

where are you going? In Amsterdam, I say go all the way.

I’m lonely.

In Amsterdam?? You know you can pay for it over there.

Say, where am I?


Oh, that’s right, I’m not in that world anymore.

OMG, they moved Amsterdam!! I didn’t even get a chance to visit.

BTW, does your coffee have a green leaf on the side of it?

AMEN :smiley:

Uhhh. . . get back to work on Orange!


hey!! what are you insinuating…?
btw. check out my latest phaenting.

Quote Begin…

Because we listen autobiographically, we tend to respond in one of four ways. We evaluate -- we

either agree or disagree; we probe – we ask questions from our own frame of reference; we advise – we
give counsel based on our own experience; or we interpret – we try to figure people out, to explain their
motives, their behavior, based on our own motives and behavior.
These responses come naturally to us. We are deeply scripted in them; we live around models of
them all the time. But how do they affect our ability to really understand?
If I’m trying to communicate with my son, can he feel free to open himself up to me when I evaluate
everything he says before he really explains it? Am I giving him psychological air?
And how does he feel when I probe? Probing is playing 20 questions. It’s autobiographical, it
controls, and it invades. It’s also logical, and the language of logic is different from the language of sentiment and emotion. You can play 20 questions all day and not find out what’s important to
someone. Constant probing is one of the main reasons parents do not get close to their children.
“How’s it going, son?”
“Well, what’s been happening lately?”
“So what’s exciting at school?”
“Not much.”
“And what are your plans for the weekend?”
“I don’t know.”
You can’t get him off the phone talking with his friends, but all he gives you is one- and two-word
answers. Your house is a motel where he eats and sleeps, but he never shares, never opens up.
And when you think about it, honestly, why should he, if every time he does open up his soft
underbelly, you elephant stomp it with autobiographical advice and “I told you so’s.”
We are so deeply scripted in these responses that we don’t even realize when we use them. I have
taught this concept to thousands of people in seminars across the country, and it never fails to shock
them deeply as we role-play empathic listening situations and they finally begin to listen to their own
typical responses. But as they begin to see how they normally respond and learn how to listen with
empathy, they can see the dramatic results in communication. To many, seek first to understand
becomes the most exciting, the most immediately applicable, of all the Seven Habits.
Let’s take a look at what well might be a typical communication between a father and his teenage
son. Look at the father’s words in terms of the four different responses we have just described.
“Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”
“What’s the matter, Son?” (probing).
“It’s totally impractical. I don’t get a thing out of it.”
“Well, you just can’t see the benefits yet, Son. I felt the same way when I was your age.” I
remember thinking what a waste some of the classes were. But those classes turned out to be the most
helpful to me later on. Just hang in there. Give it some time" (advising).
“I’ve given it 10 years of my life! Can you tell me what good ‘x plus y’ is going to be to me as an
auto mechanic?”
“An auto mechanic? You’ve got to be kidding” (evaluating).
“No, I’m not. Look at Joe. He’s quit school. He’s working on cars. And he’s making lots of
money. Now that’s practical.”
“It may look that way now. But several years down the road, Joe’s going to wish he’d stayed in
school. You don’t want to be an auto mechanic. You need an education to prepare you for something
better than that” (advising).
“I don’t know. Joe’s got a pretty good set-up.”
“Look, Son, have you really tried?” (probing, evaluating).
“I’ve been in high school two years now. Sure I’ve tried. It’s just a waste.”
“That’s a highly respected school, Son. Give them a little credit” (advising, evaluating).
“Well, the other guys feel the same way I do.”
“Do you realize how many sacrifices your mother and I have made to get you to where you are?
You can’t quit when you’ve come this far” (evaluating).
“I know you’ve sacrificed, Dad. But it’s just not worth it.”
“Look, maybe if you spent more time doing your homework and less time in front of TV.” (advising,
“Look, Dad. It’s just no good. Oh, never mind! I don’t want to talk about this anyway.”
Obviously, his father was well-intended. Obviously, he wanted to help. But did he even begin to really understand?
Let’s look more carefully at the son – not just his words, but his thoughts and feelings (expressed
parenthetically below) and the possible effect of some of his dad’s autobiographical responses.
“Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!” (I want to talk with you, to get your attention.)
“What’s the matter, Son?” (You’re interested! Good!)
“It’s totally impractical. I don’t get a thing out of it.” (I’ve got a problem with school, and I feel just
“Well, you just can’t see the benefits yet, son. I felt the same way when I was your age.” (Oh, no!
Here comes Chapter three of Dad’s autobiography. This isn’t what I want to talk about. I don’t really
care how many miles he had to trudge through the snow to school without any boots. I want to get to
the problem.) “I remember thinking what a waste some of the classes were. But those classes turned
out to be the most helpful to me later on. Just hang in there. Give it some time.” (Time won’t solve
my problem. I wish I could tell you. I wish I could just spit it out.)
“I’ve given it 10 years of my life! Can you tell me what good ‘x plus y’ is going to do me as an auto
“An auto mechanic? You’ve got to be kidding.” ( He wouldn’t like me if I were an auto mechanic.
He wouldn’t like me if I didn’t finish school. I have to justify what I said.)
“No, I’m not. Look at Joe. He’s quit school. He’s working on cars. And he’s making lots of
money. Now that’s practical.”
“It may look that way now. But several years down the road, Joe’s going to wish he’d stayed in
school.” (Oh, Boy! here comes lecture number 16 on the value of an education.) “You don’t want to
be an auto mechanic.” (How do you know that, Dad? Do you really have any idea what I want?)
“You need an education to prepare you for something better than that.”
“I don’t know. Joe’s got a pretty good set-up.” (He’s not a failure. He didn’t finish school and
he’s not a failure.)
“Look, Son, have you really tried?” (We’re beating around the bush, Dad. If you’d just listen, I
really need to talk to you about something important.)
“I’ve been in high school two years now. Sure I’ve tried. It’s just a waste.”
“That’s a highly respected school, Son. Give them a little credit.” (Oh, great. Now we’re talking
credibility. I wish I could talk about what I want to talk about.)
“Well, the other guys feel the same way I do.” (I have some credibility, too. I’m not a moron.)
“Do you realize how many sacrifices your mother and I have made to get you where you are?”
(Uh-oh, here comes the guilt trip. Maybe I am a moron. The school’s great, Mom and Dad are great,
and I’m a moron.) “You can’t quit when you’ve come this far.”
“I know you’ve sacrificed, Dad. But it’s just not worth it.” (You just don’t understand.)
“Look, maybe if you spent more time doing your homework and less time in front of TV…” (That’s
not the problem, Dad! That’s not it at all! I’ll never be able to tell you. I was dumb to try.)
“Look, Dad. It’s just no good. Oh, never mind! I don’t want to talk about this anyway.”
Can you see how limited we are when we try to understand another person on the basis of words

alone, especially when we’re looking at that person through our own glasses? Can you see how
limiting our autobiographical responses are to a person who is genuinely trying to get us to understand
his autobiography?
You will never be able to truly step inside another person, to see the world as he sees it, until you
develop the pure desire, the strength of personal character, and the positive Emotional Bank Account,
as well as the empathic listening skills to do it.
The skills, the tip of the iceberg of empathic listening, involve four developmental stages
The first and least effective is to mimic content. This is the skill taught in “active” or “reflective”
listening. Without the character and relationship base, it is often insulting to people and causes them to close up. It is, however, a first-stage skill because it at least causes you to listen to what’s being said
Mimicking content is easy. You just listen to the words that come out of someone’s mouth and you
repeat them. You’re hardly even using your brain at all
“Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”
“You’ve had it. You think school is for the birds.”
You have essentially repeated back the content of what was being said. You haven’t evaluated or
probed or advised or interpreted. You’ve at least showed you’re paying attention to his words. But
to understand, you want to do more.
The second stage of empathic listening is to rephrase the content. It’s a little more effective, but it’s
still limited to the verbal communication
“Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”
“You don’t want to go to school anymore.”
This time, you’ve put his meaning into your own words. Now you’re thinking about what he said,
mostly with the left side, the reasoning, logical side of the brain.
The third stage brings your right brain into operation. You reflect feeling.
“Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”
“You’re feeling really frustrated.”
Now you’re not paying as much attention to what he’s saying as you are to the way he feels about
what he’s saying. The fourth stage includes both the second and the third. You rephrase the content
and reflect the feeling.
“Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”
“You’re really frustrated about school.”
Frustration is the feeling; school is the content. You’re using both sides of your brain to understand
both sides of his communication.
Now, what happens when you use fourth stage empathic listening skills is really incredible. As
you authentically seek to understand, as you rephrase content and reflect feeling, you give him
psychological air. You also help him work through his own thoughts and feelings. As he grows in
his confidence of your sincere desire to really listen and understand, the barrier between what’s going
on inside him and what’s actually being communicated to you disappears. It opens a soul-to-soul flow.
He’s not thinking and feeling one thing and communicating another. He begins to trust you with his
innermost tender feelings and thoughts.
“Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!” (I want to talk with you to get your attention.)
“You’re really frustrated about school.” (That’s right! That’s how I feel.)
“I sure am. It’s totally impractical. I’m not getting a thing out of it.”
“You feel like school’s not doing you any good.” (Let me think – is that what I mean?)
“Well, yeah. I’m just not learning anything that’s going to help me. I mean, look at Joe. He’s
dropped out of school and he’s working on cars. He’s making money. Now that’s practical.”
“You feel that Joe really has the right idea.” (Well…)
“Well, I guess he does in a way. He’s really making money now. But in a few years I bet he’ll
probably be ticked off at himself.”
“You think Joe’s going to feel he made the wrong decision.”
“He’s got to. Just look at what he’s giving up. I mean, if you don’t have an education, you just
can’t make it in this world.”
“Education is really important.”
“Oh, yeah! I mean, if you don’t have a diploma, if you can’t get jobs or go to college, what are you
going to do? You’ve just got to get an education.”
“It’s important to your future.”
“It is. And, you know what? I’m really worried. Listen, you won’t tell Mom, will you?”
“You don’t want your mother to find out.”
“Well, not really. Oh, I guess you can tell her. She’ll probably find out anyway. Look, I took this
test today, this reading test. And, Dad, they said I’m reading on a fourth-grade level. Fourth grade!
And I’m in junior high school!”
What a difference real understanding can make! All the well-meaning advice in the world won’t
amount to a hill of beans if we’re not even addressing the real problem. And we’ll never get to the
problem if we’re so caught up in our own autobiography, our own paradigms, that we don’t take off
our glasses long enough to see the world from another point of view.
“I’m going to flunk, Dad. I guess I figure if I’m going to flunk, I might as well quit. But I don’t
want to quit.”
“You feel torn. You’re in the middle of a dilemma.”
“What do you think I should do, Dad?”
By seeking first to understand, this father has just turned a transactional opportunity into a
transformational opportunity. Instead of interacting on a surface, get-the-job-done level of
communication, he has created a situation in which he can now have transforming impact, not only on
his son but also on the relationship. By setting aside his own autobiography and really seeking to
understand, he has made a tremendous deposit in the Emotional Bank Account and has empowered his
son to open, layer upon layer, and to get to the real issue.
Now father and son are on the same side of the table looking at the problem, instead of on opposite
sides looking across at each other. The son is opening his father’s autobiography and asking for
Even as the father begins to counsel, however, he needs to be sensitive to his son’s communication.
As long as the response is logical, the father can effectively ask questions and give counsel. But the
moment the response becomes emotional, he needs to go back to empathic listening.
“Well, I can see some things you might want to consider.”
“Like what, Dad?”
“Like getting some special help with your reading. Maybe they have some kind of tutoring
program over at the tech school.”
“I’ve already checked into that. It takes two nights and all day Saturday. That would take so
much time!”
Sensing emotion in that reply, the father moves back to empathy.
“That’s too much of a price to pay.”
“Besides, Dad, I told the sixth graders I’d be their coach.”
“You don’t want to let them down.”
“But I’ll tell you this, Dad. If I really thought that tutoring course would help, I’d be down there
every night. I’d get someone else to coach those kids.”
“You really want the help, but you doubt if the course will make a difference.”
“Do you think it would, Dad?”
The son is once more open and logical. He’s opening his father’s autobiography again. Now the
father has another opportunity to influence and transform.
There are times when transformation requires no outside counsel. Often when people are really
given the chance to open up, they unravel their own problems and the solutions become clear to them
in the process.
At other times, they really need additional perspective and help. The key is to genuinely seek the
welfare of the individual, to listen with empathy, to let the person get to the problem and the solution at
his own pace and time. Layer upon layer – it’s like peeling an onion until you get to the soft inner
When people are really hurting and you really listen with a pure desire to understand, you’ll be
amazed how fast they will open up. They want to open up. Children desperately want to open up,
even more to their parents than to their peers. And they will, if they feel their parents will love them
unconditionally and will be faithful to them afterwards and not judge or ridicule them.
If you really seek to understand, without hypocrisy and without guile, there will be times when you
will be literally stunned with the pure knowledge and understanding that will flow to you from another
human being. It isn’t even always necessary to talk in order to empathize. In fact, sometimes words
may just get in your way. That’s one very important reason why technique alone will not work. That
kind of understanding transcends technique. Isolated technique only gets in the way.
I have gone through the skills of empathic listening because skill is an important part of any habit.
We need to have the skills. But let me reiterate that the skills will not be effective unless they come
from a sincere desire to understand. People resent any attempt to manipulate them. In fact, if you’re
dealing with people you’re close to, it’s helpful to tell them what you’re doing.
“I read this book about listening and empathy and I thought about my relationship with you. I
realized I haven’t listened to you like I should. But I want to. It’s hard for me. I may blow it at times,
but I’m going to work at it. I really care about you and I want to understand. I hope you’ll help me.”
Affirming your motive is a huge deposit.
But if you’re not sincere, I wouldn’t even try it. It may create an openness and a vulnerability that
will later turn to your harm when a person discovers that you really didn’t care, you really didn’t want
to listen, and he’s left open, exposed, and hurt. The technique, the tip of the iceberg, has to come out of
the massive base of character underneath.
Now there are people who protest that empathic listening takes too much time. It may take a little
more time initially but it saves so much time downstream. The most efficient thing you can do if
you’re a doctor and want to prescribe a wise treatment is to make an accurate diagnosis. You can’t say,
“I’m in too much of a hurry. I don’t have time to make a diagnosis. Just take this treatment.”
I remember writing one time in a room on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. There was a soft
breeze blowing, and so I had opened two windows – one at the front and one at the side – to keep the
room cool. I had a number of papers laid out, chapter by chapter, on a large table.
Suddenly, the breeze started picking up and blowing my papers about. I remember the frantic
sense of loss I felt because things were no longer in order, including unnumbered pages, and I began
rushing around the room trying desperately to put them back. Finally, I realized it would be better to
take 10 seconds and close one of the windows.
Empathic listening takes time, but it doesn’t take anywhere near as much time as it takes to back up
and correct misunderstandings when you’re already miles down the road, to redo, to live with
unexpressed and unsolved problems, to deal with the results of not giving people psychological air.
A discerning empathic listener can read what’s happening down deep fast, and can show such
acceptance, such understanding, that other people feel safe to open up layer after layer until they get to
that soft inner core where the problem really lies.
People want to be understood. And whatever investment of time it takes to do that will bring
much greater returns of time as you work from an accurate understanding of the problems and issues
and from the high Emotional Bank Account that results when a person feels deeply understood.

End Quote

Hmpf… me no like words!

All I have to say is that here in the USA, school is here for two reasons. One is to babysit the children. The other is to make them “Productive adults”. What are productive adults? They are adults who make the rich richer. Well, at least that’s what I think.

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things…
I’m tempted to think…there are no little things.

The greatest battles of life are fought out daily in the
silent chambers of the soul." If you win the battles there, if you settle the issues that inwardly conflict,
you feel a sense of peace, a sense of knowing what you’re about. And you’ll find that the Public
Victories – where you tend to think cooperatively, to promote the welfare and good of other people,
and to be genuinely happy for other people’s successes – will follow naturally.

“The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.”

One of the classic stories in the field of self-fulfilling prophecies is of a computer in England that was
accidentally programmed incorrectly. In academic terms, it labeled a class of “bright” kids “dumb” and
a class of supposedly “dumb” kids “bright.” And that computer report was the primary criterion that
created the teachers’ paradigms about their students at the beginning of the year.
When the administration finally discovered the mistake five-and-a-half months later, they decided
to test the kids again without telling anyone what had happened. And the results were amazing. The
“bright” kids had gone down significantly in IQ test points. They had been seen and treated as
mentally limited, uncooperative, and difficult to teach. The teachers’ paradigms had become a
self-fulfilling prophecy. But the scores in the supposedly “dumb” group had gone up. The teachers had treated them as
though they were bright, and their energy, their hope, their optimism, their excitement had reflected
high individual expectations and worth for those kids.
These teachers were asked what it was like during the first few weeks of the term. “For some
reason, our methods weren’t working,” they replied. “So we had to change our methods.” The
information showed that the kids were bright. If things weren’t working well, they figured it had to be
the teaching methods. So they worked on methods. They were proactive; they worked in their Circle
of Influence. Apparent learner disability was nothing more or less than teacher inflexibility.