Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Calves and Common Sense

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the famous nineteenth-century poet and essayist, was out one day trying to get a calf into the barn. "But he made the common mistake of thinking only of what he wanted: Emerson pushed and his son pulled.. But the calf stiffened his legs and stubbornly refused to leave the pasture.

"The Irish housemaid saw their predicament. She couldn't write essays and books; but on this occasion at least, she had more horse sense, or calf sense, than Emerson. She put her maternal finger in the calf's mouth, and let the calf suck her finger as she gently led him into the barn."(1)

The lesson is simple but profound: The best way to influence others is by considering their desires, not just your own.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
(1)Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1936)
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  
John 16:13

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