Wednesday, July 30, 2014


One of my daily prayers is to ask God to keep me ever mindful of the needs of others. However, I too often speak well in advance of a properly considered and fair response. Just over the past several weeks several examples perfect for illustration came from somewhere within me.

Example #1: When addressing an engineer at a recent group meeting. "Wow, that's pretty naive thinking."

The truth is that the engineer was simply trying to better understand why I was stressing a certain point of the system design. My response was disrespectful and showed a lack of patience.

Example #2: When discussing the designs of a detector group in a planning meeting. "Those people are clowns, they have no idea what they're doing."

The truth is that I disagreed with the basic approach of the detector group, especially when they did not consult with me. My response was flip and I should have acted to better understand their thinking and their constraints.

Example #3: When talking to a colleague about some management decision. "They continue to follow a path of incompetence all the while congratulating themselves for their brilliance."

The truth is that I really did not understand the pressures faced by the management group and what limitations were placed upon the decisions that they were likely forced to make. Without full information my opinion was designed to inflate my own ego.

It's amazing how I can pray in one breath to be mindful of others and in the next how I can take swings at their reputations. Working on my own shortcomings often seems to take longer than I would care to admit to realize even the slightest, fleeting improvement. It seems the insults and knives are tossed out before I even realize that I have fired a salvo. Then after a moment I recognize that I have fallen short again.