A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great…
Tip of the Week
Tip: There are 3 sides to every coin!
Recently someone asked me how many sides there were to a coin. Everyone knows there are two sides to every coin, so I said, “Two.” Boy was I surprised when they said, “Actually, there are three…the head side, the tail side, and the edge of the coin. That is another side, too!” You know what? I had never thought of that, but I believe they were right!
Most of us have been raised to believe that there are two sides to every issue. While I think that is somewhat true, I am willing to concede that there might be a third side to a situation that has not yet been considered. One side of the coin may be a strong view that we have on a particular situation. The other side of the coin may be something that we do not believe at all. However, if we are able to stand on the edge of the coin, perhaps we can see both sides more clearly. Let me use an example that may explain what I mean.
Some of you have heard me say before that at one point in my life I was a talking capitalist, but a functioning socialist. A true capitalist is one who owns his or her own life. They have secured enough funds so that they can live comfortably off of the income they have accumulated without having to work any longer. They have achieved enough success and income to take care of themselves for the rest of their life. This is not an easy process and it does take time, however, isn’t that where most of us would like to be? I doubt that any of us wants to be forced to get up and go to work every day when we are eighty-five years old! At some point in time, we want our savings, investments, and accumulated financial resources to take care of us until the end of our lives.
A socialist, on the other hand, is someone who is always looking for someone to take care of them and provide them with the basic essentials of life. Often they have an entitlement mentality that someone owes them something.
Now, let’s think on the third side of the coin – the edge – and look at both sides. I think at some point in our lifetime it is important that we go through this socialist process. That is where we learn how to do a job and how to get our feet on the ground. That’s where we allow another person to mentor, tutor, or coach us. After all, none of us are born experts at anything, so we are dependent on others to show us what to do and how to do it.
However, the capitalist vantage point is important as well. It is where we begin to stand on our own two feet. We no longer need someone to give us a fish; someone has taught us how to fish for ourselves and we are able to support ourselves and achieve personal success.
The only way you can really see both of these points of view clearly is to stand on the edge of the coin and recognize that at different times, both of these stages are important!
See what I mean? This idea of having three sides to every coin really is valuable. It helps you to not be so dogmatic in your beliefs that you can’t see another possible option from a differing point of view. There is the heads side – which is one point of view; there is the tails side – which may be the opposite point of view; and then there is the edge side which helps you to possibly see a third option that has previously been overlooked! The third option helps you to see that often the issue at hand is not an “either/or” situation, but could possibly be a “both/and” situation.
I have had fun with this coin question and you can too!
The other day, I was with my grandson, David Michael and thought I would ask him the question that had been asked of me to see if he knew the answer. When I asked how many sides there were to a coin, he immediately answered, “Three!” I thought to myself, “How can my 13 year old grandson be smarter than I am?” I said, “Why do you say there are three?” He said, “Well, there’s the head side, the tail side, and then there’s the edge.” It opened an opportunity for us to have a good conversation about how right he was and how important it is to see all three sides. I have found that keeping an open mind and learning to listen to others helps create better relationships. You might want to try out this question on one of your family members or friends. It could lead to a good discussion like it did for me and my grandson.
Whatever you are going through in life and whatever you are learning, always remember there may be another option that you have not considered. That is the edge of the coin that will help you to be wiser and smarter in all that you do!
Tip: There are 3 sides to every coin!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm