All of us communicate with other people on a daily basis. Whether it is with a family member, a stranger or someone we work with, communication is going on almost all the time.
Sometimes we miscommunicate with others. We mistakenly give the wrong information. Most of us have accidentally communicated to another person the incorrect time of an appointment or the date of an event. We have unintentionally gotten information confused. That is understandable. We are all human and we all make mistakes.
A responsible person owns up to mistakes and takes the blame for any part that he or she might have had in a misunderstanding. After that, the situation is usually laid to rest and life continues.
However, sometimes we need to recognize that we have been “taken”! There are people in the world that will deliberately deceive and mislead you. When that happens, it creates a whole different scenario.
Years ago, I was with a group of people in Israel. We had been shopping and had purchased many nice gifts. My friend, Bill Miller, found a beautiful ring for his wife, Angel. They were both very pleased with the quality of the ring and its beauty.
After Angel had tried the ring on, Bill purchased it for her. The store owner wanted to put the ring in a nice box. She handed it back to the store owner and he reached under the counter for a box. He then put the ring box in the bag and stapled the bag shut.
It was getting late in the afternoon and the bus was about to leave. We got on the bus to drive back to our hotel. When we had driven for about 30 minutes, Bill told me about the beautiful ring that he had bought Angel. He reached for the bag, opened it, and took out the ring box. When he opened the box, he was shocked. The ring had been switched! In the split second it had taken the owner to reach under the counter to put the ring in the box, he had switched it with another ring.
By that time, we were far down the road. Because we were with a group of other people, the bus driver would not turn around and take us back to the shop where Bill had purchased the ring. It looked like a “bait-and-switch” had occurred. Bill and I even wondered later if the bus driver had been in on the deal since he was the one who insisted that we all shop at his good friend’s jewelry store.
I do not want to be unkind, nor do I want to think badly of another person. However, in that situation, it was evident what had happened. Bill had been lied to and deceived. No misunderstanding or mistake had occurred. It was deliberate, willful deception.
You may be able to think of a time when something similar happened to you. When we experience something like that, it shakes us to our very foundation. We realize that there really is evil in the universe and when we meet it face to face, it hurts.
Learn to keep your eyes open. When things go wrong, as they often do, look to see if what is taking place around you is a simple mistake or willful deception. If it is a mistake, recognize it for what it is, practice forgiveness and understanding and go on with life. If, on the other hand, it is willful deception, it might be a good idea to part company with such individuals. If someone willfully and deliberately deceives you once and does not own up to it, you can bet they will do it again when opportunity presents itself.
I want to be the kind of person that leaves a good experience with all the people in my life. I am sure you do, too. When you investigate situations and see what has occurred, you will have to be the one to determine whether the situation was simply a misunderstanding or if it was willful, deliberate deception.
Life is an interesting journey, and we all are learning as we go along this path. Open your eyes to the insight that is offered in this Tip, and you will be rewarded both in the short-term and in the long run for your newfound wisdom.
Tip: Recognize the difference between a misunderstanding and deliberate deception.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm