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Old 02-03-2005, 08:33 AM   #1
Taliesin
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 82
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Attitute and Geography

I have recently been reminded of an old story I once heard. I'd be interested in your opinions.

An old man is sittin in his rocking chair on the porch of his house when a car drives up. A man gets out and explains politely that's he's new in town and if the old man can tell him what the town is like. The old man asks what was your last town like. The visitor replies that it was great, the peple were friendly, everybody helped everyone else, that it was a great place to live. The old man replied "You'll find it the same here". The visitor thanks the old man, gets into his car and then drives off.

About twenty minutes later another car drives and another man gets out and asks the old man what the town is like. Again the old man asks what the visitors last town was like. The visitor replies it was terrible, everyone was rude, and ignorant, nobody was helpful, there were problems with everything. The old man sighed and said "You'll find it the same here".
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:43 PM   #2
Caitlyn Raggio
Location: Boulder, CO
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2
United_States
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Re: Attitute and Geography

I think it speaks to the importance and influence of preconceptions. The points of view of both travelers are colored by their past experiences, and to a certain extent they expect the same in what they will encounter in the future. The old man tells the first man that the town will be good and friendly to him because that is what the first man is expecting. Likewise, the old man predicts that the town will be terrible for the second man because that's what the second man expects.

Only to a certain extent, of course. I mean, our preconceived notions about what something will be like are not the only things that determine how we eventually perceive something, but you know what they say about first impressions. Thinging about how something will be before the actual experience just distorts it. It is best, in my opinion, to try not to have expectations, and just to experience things as they come. Easier said than done, as our society encourages judging and pre-rationalization, but it's a whole lot better than my past philosophy of life, "Always expect the worse; that way, you'll never be disappointed."

Thanks for posting the story; very nice food for thought.
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:37 PM   #3
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
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Re: Attitute and Geography

All things seem yellow through jaundiced eyes.--Alexander Pope

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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