Dear Member - December 9th, Face Value

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At what age do we stop taking things that people say at face value? Do we stop because of age, sales, or marketing? When do words lose their face value meaning and become something more? It seems that as we become older we are always looking for second meanings or ulterior motives, behind what’s being said. I wonder if it is because our thoughts and ideas have already been expressed, or is it simply a result of marketing or sales? Not all ulterior motives are bad; in some cases there are multiple reasons or purposes, and in other cases sharing the foremost reason may not be prudent at a given time. We all know the salesmen who offer to give you something for “free” if you will just come into the establishment. You know the motive: The minute you step in the door they are going to try to sell you something else. Ulterior motives are just a part of today’s business world. We have been conditioned to expect something more than what is actually being said.

That insight came to me recently when I was visited by my four-year-old friend. I was so excited to see him, I said, “Huck, you have grown a foot since I last saw you!” He thought about this for a minute and said, “Ms. Peggy, I haven’t grown a foot...look, I still only have two feet.” He took what I said at pure face value. Not only have I chuckled about that ever since, but it was incredibly refreshing. It also made me realize that at some point in our lives our words take on more meaning. Words seem to lose their pure and innocent meaning and become tools for business. At what point that change happens remains to be seen. Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard of aging.  Words are power, and they can create your present and future. Goethe once said, “All great thoughts have been thought thousands of time in the past. To make meaning of our thoughts, you must re-think them until they take center stage in your life.”

Work hard, be productive, and, above all else, stay positive.
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