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You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

May 13 2009

A few decades ago I made my living be programming on the old Apple II computers. In those days it offered the unique ability for a programmer like myself to work from home and own my own development platform.

The down side of this arrangement was that when my computer ceased working, which was common in those days my ability to work was halted.

On one such occasion I took my computer to the repair store on a Tuesday and was told it would be ready on Thursday. Arriving Thursday evening I met another customer who was picking up his system and told that mine was not ready. Asking why the clerk told me ... "I had to fix his first because he yelled at me."

Talk about teaching people how to treat us!

Taking the cue I proceeded to yell at the clerk myself and found it had good effect in that my computer was ready for pick up the next morning.

Taking this lesson at face value I would consider attempting to catch flies using vinegar.

But there is a deeper lesson here.

Humanity may be flawed in its willingness to succumb to abuse. Given this example we can see that accepting abuse leads to getting more abuse and as the saying tells us even flies are smarter than that!

In my world I prefer to catch flies using honey but flexibility demands that we respond to what works in the situation at hand.


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