Three Lessons Learned from a Literary Classic
This is no cursory exercise; you must really take some time and effort to ask yourself, “Where is this person coming from?” “What am I not understanding about this situation?” Take your time. The knowledge you come away with and the understanding you achieve will be priceless.
“They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions...but before I can live with other folks, I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.” –Atticus Finch
Remember when you were a kid and you said to your parents, “But everyone is doing it!” And they said, “If everyone jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge would you do it too?” This is the literary version of that exchange.
What Atticus is saying that there can often be a huge difference between what is popular and what is right. And sometimes doing the right thing can be downright painful. This is often the case.
Recycling takes effort, as does volunteering your time. But it’s pretty hard to argue that these activities do not benefit society, and by extension, us as individuals. A lot of your friends, competitors and peers may not be doing it, but that does not mean they are not right.
More importantly, I think what Atticus is trying to get at is that we have to listen to our own conscience. Everyone is different. But we cannot let what everyone else is doing affect us. If we know in our hearts that something is right, we should do it; regardless of what everyone else is doing.
If you haven’t read this book, do yourself a favor and read it. Or re-read it. And if you have a particular passage that you love, that we can all take a lesson from, please share it.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.