Scott’s Thoughts: On Discernment

“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”

-Virgil Thomson American composer and critic

Discernment, according to Wikipedia, is defined as “the ability to obtain sharp perceptions or to judge well (or the activity of so doing).” Furthermore, “considered as a virtue, a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others.”

A byproduct of our technologically-accelerated times is the pressure to form and share opinions rapidly. Facebook posts must be reacted to, comments are written on the fly, and tweets get launched in response to issues even as they are just breaking into the news cycle. It is as if there is some unspoken fear that silence is the same as acquiescence. Silence is inaction.

Of course this is an absurd way to live one’s life. Silence is the space in which we practice discernment. More often than not, a pressured response will lead to misrepresentation or simplification of our views. Why be handcuffed by knee-jerk reactions? We must learn to admit we may not know how we feel about a subject, or what we believe is the best course of action.

As a real estate professional, your judgement is central to your effectiveness and reputation. Among buyers and sellers, no small portion of your value lies in your ability to be steady, see clearly, and instill confidence.

The next time you feel the pressure to react to an issue or commit to a stance, remember that a rash declaration may ultimately work against you. More than ever we need people who place emphasis on discernment.

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