Things are often not as they seem, and when we make assumptions about an event or another’s behavior, we may well be wrong and sorry. How might a printing process teach us something about life? When you take a very close look at a picture in a magazine, what valuable lesson might it reveal?
Many years ago, I was CEO of a leading packaging manufacturing company, and one of the operations we used was printing. We acquired a state-of-the-art, eight color printing press so we could do process work, which is the printing method used to print pictures (whether for magazines, newspapers, packages, labels, etc.). Most people know a little about this process now because every color, computer printer uses this method. It is also the principal on which computer screens, televisions, smartphones, etc., create their beautiful images.
Take a look at a picture in a magazine or from your color printer with a magnifying glass or a loupe, and you’ll see that it is made up of many tiny dots of certain colors, organized specifically to generate the image. One dot on it’s own will never make a picture. It can only represent a dot. Similarly, several dots, but not organized correctly, will create a blurry or even incomprehensible image. What does this have to do with life?
Events happen throughout our lives, and each one of them represents a dot. Each one, on its own, can only represent itself. Sometimes we attach meaning to an event by making an assumption about its meaning. When a similar event continues to occur, it becomes a series of dots and a more definitive meaning evolves. Once there are a sufficient number of dots to create a clear picture, only then is it appropriate to attribute certain meaning, which is likely, by then, to be obvious. You know that old saying about what happens when we “assume.” Quite often, when we assume a certain meaning without proper consideration, we react rather than respond, and that can end up being the ultimate assumption. Only when the dots are aligned in just the right way will the picture become unmistakably clear.
So the next time an event, a dot, occurs in your life, take note of it and allow it to be just a dot, like a blip on a radar screen. Save yourself from being wrong and sorry, the victim of a self-inflicted assumption. If that dot appears over and over, if it occurs repeatedly, the truthful meaning will become clear, and when it does, you will be able to make the appropriate response, saving yourself and perhaps another from a very uncomfortable and embarrassing situation.
We are all unique, and we see things through our eyes and with our filters. I encourage you to remember that we are all more the same than we are different, and yet it is all of our similarities as well as our differences that make this world such an interesting place from which we can learn and grow. When we open our eyes to all that is possible, we can realize the true joy of all that we share. How cool is that?!