We are such smart people.
Honest to goodness, I had conversations over the past 10 days in which someone actually shared exactly the following:
Obama is a narcissist.
Romney is a dirtbag liar.
Friends, you are each welcome to your own opinion. I’m sure various factions of blog readers will affirm one of the above or the other; perhaps there exist some who adhere to both. This post, however, has zero to do with narcissism nor the ability to articulate truth. My questions this day instead center around us being such smart people. How is it that so incredibly frequently, we claim to know with certainty the heart of another?
Perhaps a large majority of you will disagree with me this day (and I’m ok with that), but I do not believe that any one man can fully discern the heart of another. Leave the politicians out of it — because the reality is, being the smart people we are, we make these character judgments in regard to far more than the Obamas and Romneys of the world. Yes, we may perceive a glimpse of the heart of another — via a leaning or lacking of integrity — but a glimpse implies an obstructed view. We are not as smart as we think we are.
If we are authentically attempting to discern the character of another, my sense is we need to look for evidence of the following in the person’s actual behavior:
- and self-control
And that’s pretty much it.
Again, feel free to disagree with me. I’m ok with it.
Feel free to claim you do know with certainty the character of another that you have only witnessed from afar… the Obamas, Romneys, and people in your world… maybe even your neighbors. And then I have to ask what those far away from you and me also may see…
… do they discern all that we are?
… have they witnessed the totality of our behavior that allows them to assert such a definitive opinion?
… is there any way possible one or two or even seven events could create a distorted opinion — an obstructed view — or hence, a limited perspective?
Yes, we are such a smart people…
… or at least we think we are.