Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 2/13/2023
When I was in high school a friend gave me a ride in hot weather. He had the windows down, since few people in my neighborhood could afford air conditioning. He pointed to someone driving by and said, out of the blue, “Some people drive with their windows up and swelter because they pretend they have air conditioning.”
I couldn’t imagine anyone doing something so ridiculous until, a few days later in 80° weather, I saw my friend drive by in the same car—with the windows up.
We seem most aware of the transgressions of others that we ourselves commit because we are so familiar with them! You don’t have to be a hierophant to interpret this. It’s a kind of perverted recency bias (or “availability bias”) where we are much more cognizant of inappropriate events when they are recent—in this case because we repeatedly engage in them!
Drivers often complain with the most vehemence about errors that they, themselves, commit frequently, like not signaling or refusing to give people space to merge. I’ve listened to irate students, who feel at a disadvantage because others are cheating, whom I know attempted to cheat using my work. There are consultants out there whose heads are about to explode because they feel others are infringing on their work, when practically nothing they’ve produce hasn’t come from someone else.
You know the stuff about “the first stone”? Whether it’s the parable about outrage over others’ behavior or living in a glass house, it’s quite true. Unless there’s a fundamental ethical or legal trespass, why can’t we just live and let live?
(It wouldn’t hurt to use that as a foreign policy, either.)
I think we need to look at ourselves first. We should practice what we’re preaching. Otherwise, we are hypocrites. —Mo Ibrahim
Our public figures are often narcissists, utterly self-absorbed in their quest for power. —Nicholas Kristof
But enough about me, what do you think about me? —Groucho Marx (I think)