Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 2009 - WANT: Do you really know what others want?

Do you really know what others want?

That seems like such an odd question. It feels so odd, because so many people have no idea what THEY want let alone what OTHERS want. Yet, it would appear from the many accounts of history that WE are constantly deciding what others want.


You bet!

Let's start with the European arrival in the "new world". My understanding was that those wonderful folks arrived in the Americas and promptly decided that the locals wanted to be "converted". Through the various methods of the day, the indigenous population received "help" in finding out what they really wanted.
I will assume that there was some of this in the Crusades and the myriad of other conquests that perforate history to this day. I am sure that the people of Iraq wanted the United States to move them towards democracy.

All that aside, perhaps the issue comes down to that famous line in Jurassic Park where Ian Malcolm states, "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Rephrasing: "Yeah, but you were so preoccupied with whether or not you knew what they wanted, you didn't stop to think if they really wanted that."

In the context of do you know what others want, it may be as simple as, have you ever asked them what they want. I think it is fairly common for people to have questions about what they want. Lots of people never know what they want. Still others know what they want, but never ask for it. So who are we to presume, without asking, that we know exactly what others what.

Bottom line, ask them what they want.

Better still, ask them how you could help them get what they want.

Or, maybe better yet, cheer them on as they discover and obtain what they want.

Could it be that the endpoint of getting what you want is only part of all of this want thing? It might be that the deciding on, sharing and going for what you want is THE thing.

Who knows? For me, I am still deciding what I want. I will let others decide for themselves. If someone asks me for help, I'll be there. But I don't think I will ever presume some god-like power that gives me the insight to know what someone else wants.

Thanks for your attention span.

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