Monday, August 12, 2013

Getting What We Expect

In life we often get what we expect. If we expect something good, it has a way of showing up. If we expect something bad, it too has a way of showing up.

It reminds me of a story I heard about a wise clerk who worked at a convenience store in a small town out west.
One day, a stranger walked in, picked up some bread and milk, and made his way to the cash register.
“New to town?” the clerk asked.
“Yep. Just moved here with my family,” the stranger replied.
“Well, then let me be the first to welcome you,” the clerk offered, extending his hand.
“Thanks,” the stranger said as he shook it. “Say, what are the people like in this town?”
“Well … what were they like in the town you just left?” the clerk queried.
“Oh, they were fantastic,” the stranger replied. “Friendly, upbeat, and generous. We hated to leave.”
“I know what you mean,” the clerk nodded. “I think that’s pretty much what you’ll find here, too.”
A few days later, another stranger walked into the convenience store. Like the first, he picked up a few staples and headed to the cash register.
The same clerk asked, “New to town?”
“Yes,” the stranger mumbled. “Just arrived.”
Following the same track, the clerk smiled and extended his hand. “Let me be the first to welcome you!”
The stranger took his hand reluctantly, frowned, and quickly looked down. “So what are the people like in this town?”
“Well … what were they like in the town you lived in last?” the clerk queried.
“Not great,” he stammered. “They were cold, aloof, and selfish. We were glad to get out of there.” He looked up at the clerk.
“I know what you mean,” the clerk affirmed. “I’m afraid that’s probably what you’ll find here, too.”
If it’s true that we get what we expect, it’s worth noticing our expectations—and shifting them toward a more positive outcome.

Source: Michael Hyatt’s Blog, 12 August 2013.

PM Turns Taxi Driver to Find Out 'What People Really Think'

What do you do if you’re in a position of leadership and you want to understand what ordinary people are thinking?
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg revealed Sunday that he went undercover as a taxi driver for an afternoon, in a bid to find out voters' real concerns.
"It's important for me to hear what people really think. If there's one place where people say what they think, it's in the taxi," he said in a video posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The video was released while campaigning was in full swing for the September 9 general election, which Stoltenberg's ruling leftist coalition appears likely to lose, according to the latest opinion polls.
Stoltenberg wore an Oslo Taxi uniform -- complete with a badge -- one afternoon in June and picked up passengers in a black Mercedes in the Norwegian capital.
A hidden camera fitted in the cab-recorded reactions from the passengers, including one who remarked: "From this angle, he really looks like the prime minister."
An elderly woman who also recognised Stoltenberg urged him to do something about "the salaries of bosses", complaining that "they should not make millions like that".
Beyond revelations from the clients, Stoltenberg himself had one to give away, admitting to a passenger who recognised him that he had not driven in eight years.
Asked by tabloid Verdens Gang if he would like to be a taxi driver if he lost the elections, Stoltenberg said: "I think that the country and Norwegian taxi passengers are better served if I were a prime minister and not a taxi driver."
Watch the video clip with English subtitles.

Source: Norwegian PM works as taxi driver, Al Jazeera, 11 August 2013.

Image: Jens Stoltenberg (Credit)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

God Refused a Science Grant

Have you heard the one about God applying for a grant from a scientific institution to study the origins of creation?

The grant was refused on three grounds:

Firstly, there was no visible evidence that God had done any work on the subject for a long time.

Secondly, no one had been able to repeat the experiment.

Thirdly, because the only records of it had not been published in any scientific journal!

Source: Eric James, A Life of Bishop John A T Robinson, 292.