Friday, January 26, 2024

David Brooks helps us to know a person

David Brooks has been a regular part of my schedule on the PBS Newshour.   He represented the conservative view although lately not so much.  He always came off as an intelligent man, but when this book was first mentioned it seemed out of character, but upon further reflection not really.   He does come off as a reflective man, thinking carefully before speaking.

 From the author, "Before a person is going to be willing to share personal stuff they have to know you respect their personal stuff".  As a reporter he soon realized questions were tools to finding out what a person really knows and feels.  

A childhood close friend committed suicide.  Confronted with depression he and others tried to cheer up his friend.  More important he realized later was to listen.

When responding to what a person said repeat what they said to be sure you understand.  Paraphrasing their words can often get closer to the truth.  Before replying it is often a good idea to give yourself time to get it right.  One gesture David suggested was to hold your hand out front.  

We all have an ongoing story.  Daniel Gilbert says "Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they are finished".  The strangers we meet all have interesting stories and many of them are willing to listen to yours.

It is natural to judge people from superficial information, but be slow to assume.  Everyone is part of a group, but not everyone is the same.  We have all been influenced by our "dead ancestors".  

The subtitle "The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen"reaches out to our human needs.  For many of us it is well worth the effort.

A lot of what I read reinforced what else I had read.  But learning of his personal experience and his study gave a fresh impression.  I have received a lot of good advice and wish I had followed more of  it better.  Check

A few years ago at a Toastmasters meeting one speaker suggested you could read the New York Times Book Review and not bother to take the time to read the book.  You could appear very knowledgeable.  My intention with my blogs is not to summarize a book or a film, but acquaint any readers with some reasons why they might want to follow it up.  Not everyone would (or should), but I believe there is some wisdom or bit of enjoyment to be had if you are in the mood.   My belief is that if good ideas are allowed to percolate the world will be better off.

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