Discernment, Part One
See Past What Only the Eye and Ear Reveal

When I was a high school senior, I signed up for speech class (mostly because of the new, just out of college, gorgeous speech teacher, Linda)  I learned much from her, not because of my youthful infatuation, but because of her true caring for students to learn useable skills.  She even involuntarily put me into a play, ‘Growing Up With Father’, and yes, I played the role of father.

I overcame much of my poor diction, learned to project and the importance of eye contact.  Although I was not necessarily shy in front of an audience, these [life] skills are priceless.

As a side note; I read an article about how Bob Hope could fall asleep at will, i.e. on a plane, in a taxi, etc.  When I mentioned it to her, she said that she could teach me how.  During many times in my career and especially today, with my frequent travel and extended work hours, it is another invaluable skill.

Although it was not her intent, she had us memorize an old saying for exercise, and it has turned out to having contributed to my aptitude for discernment.

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool; shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child; teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep; wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise; follow him.

All four of these sorts of people can be found in every business and organization.  They don’t wear a label on their forehead or is it how they are introduced.  It would be easy if someone said, “Hello, I’m Ron and I am a fool.”  So, how do we get to know whom to shun, to teach, to awaken, or to follow?

Discernment of character; the ability to understand truth and to see past what only the eye and ear reveal.  It is a valuable skill.  Discernment is one of the attributes maturity and wisdom and gives you context, a quantitative and definable line in the sand between true and false.  It serves as the ‘gut-check’, providing the internal green, orange or red light.  It’s like the person at the lab looking into a microscope and seeing the presence or absence of a malady.

Recently one of our client’s employees filed for unemployment compensation while still being employed.  When the documents arrived from the state requiring information from the employer, the employee was confronted by the business owner.  The employee’s response, ‘I thought I could collect from the system and that you wouldn’t find out.’  What have you, the reader, discerned about this employee and what would be your response?

Those possessing the sensitivity of discernment (like dogs, horses and many women), carefully decide the next move, and won’t fall for the hasty, fakes, insincerity, danger or deception and would rather not associate with a deceptive fool, adult children or those asleep.

Before you start in on the old bromide, ‘But that doesn’t sound very compassionate!’ better take a look at my article ‘Hire Too Fast or Fire Too Slow. Today the person responsible for hiring (that’s the person who has to deal with the output of the hireee), had better stop believing everything you hear or read.  Quit being so easily convinced.  Be selective.  Think.  Discern!


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