What Lies Below


We are creatures who depend on our senses to understand that which is around us.  Sometimes we depend on one sensory input over others. Vision is, sometimes, one of those senses. We take a quick look and assume that our version of what we have seen is accurate. Yet often, when we do this, we only see part of what is real. Seeing, and our assumptions could often be far from the truth.

I know we have seen the drawings of an iceberg on the water and all of the ice that is actually below the surface. The same and even more so is valid with people. People are more in-depth, more intricate, and much more diverse than what we see in a momentary glance. To understand the real person, you have to understand both what they show you and what they don’t.

People are often emotionally and thoughtfully private beings. We all hold inner secrets we do not share regularly, nor do we do so with everyone we meet. And that is okay. We do not have to share everything with everyone.

What we want to, or at least what we should do, is keep what lies beneath our water line to ourselves and let others keep what’s private to them below their water line. If either needs to share, they can. And whatever the other wants to keep secret, they should. And of course, it goes without saying, if someone takes you into their confidence. That’s where it should stay, only between you and them.

Please consider this when working with people. Somebody tells you something, they have not told the world, just you. They trust you to keep private matters private. And you should honor them in their assumption of your character. For once the trust is broken, it is almost impossible to mend.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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