When I read something I usually try hard to refrain from editorialising about the author. While I am happy to comment on the logic, usefulness of the content, or timing, I try to make sure I am not expressing something directly about the individual that wrote the words. It is impossible to know the motives and intent of the writer. Authors can be commissioned, requested, or simply sharing. Focusing on the words themselves is always a good idea.
Recently I came across an article that continues to remind me of the weakness that permeates all writing, including my own. Paraphrasing and summarizing, most experts that it wrong were thinking of yesterday, not today.
The point only fueled my frustration with a particular article on innovation. The article in question spoke of many good things – teamwork, collaboration, doing things differently. What it did not address was innovation. There was nothing particularly new. I could not find a fundamental change or new framework. It was all variations on themes that are well known or working in other companies. As the positive responses came in, I found myself scratching my head and repeated a old writer’s words; “People actually listen to them – can you believe it? Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words.” (Psalm 73.10)
As I reflect on the situation, I find myself gifting my heart with the following reminders.
Your journey and mine are ones that only we can choose. While we can support, nurture, and at times help, we are individually responsible and accountable for the choices we make.
Views, opinions, and beliefs of others can be respected and considered. When they come from someone with wisdom, experience, and age, they can be priceless gifts. What we do with them is our choice with an emphasis on the actions of choice.
Expert commentary is best made through modeling what reflects our deepest aspirations and values. Visible, tangible, and real living helps others understand and grasp what we hold closest to our hearts. It is in doing that we share what works in our lives.