Is it a Snapshot or is it the Video?

Look outside your window. It is the 8th day of August. If you look outside a window in NE Ohio you should see sunshine. You may see green grass, flowers, maybe even a lawn being cut. If people are in your view they might be sleeveless or bare legged, wearing sandals or flip flops. It would be an accurate picture. No photo shop needed.

If you looked out that same window in January or February you may see a different site. Perhaps snow. Perhaps those same bare legged women are now wearing boots. The flip floppers are probably not wearing flip flops anymore. This would be an accurate picture. No photo shop needed.

The reason that both would be correct is that both are snapshots of a single day. They tell part of the story. Just not the whole story. They are simply snapshots. What you need to make decisions and perspectives is the video, the longer story.

THINK about dating. The reason that longer courtship is usually advised is that you want the video, the whole story. I used to say you need to see someone through all of the seasons before you can get the video of that person. THINK about job interviews. You need to try to get a video of a company or a position rather than the snapshot the company may try to promote.

Let’s say you have a co-worker who always comes in late, drinks more beer in a month than you have in a year, never works out, and seems to be well thought of within his professional circles. Human nature allows us to question ourselves: why am I killing myself on the treadmill when he isn’t worried about his health, why am I here early when it doesn’t seem to impede his career that he comes in late, and so it goes.

The challenge is to remind ourselves that we are not seeing the video. We are seeing a day, a week, or a year of someone’s life and career. What they are doing may work for now, the question I would ask: is it sustainable? Can most people be healthy into their 50’s, 70’s, and 90’s without the benefit of working out? Can most people be considered for promotion while being the last one in and the first to leave?

There is always an exception to any rule. Not everyone that speeds gets a ticket. We have to make decisions based on the rule, not the exception because we don’t get to see the last chapters of the video until the very end.


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