IS A FLOWER IN THE DESERT BEAUTIFUL IF NOBODY SEES IT? 
Thursday, June 13, 2019, 08:17 AM
Posted by Administrator
Two sayings I like to remind clients of...and that always seem to annoy them to distraction when I do.....are the "Is a flower in the desert..." thing and, of course, IF A TREE FALLS IN THE FOREST AND NOBODY IS THERE TO HEAR IT DOES IT MAKE A NOISE?

I believe the answer to both questions is "No". Here is why: "Beauty" is an opinion. If nobody able to form an opinion sees the flower then the idea of "beauty" never gets attached to it. And, "noise" is a perception. The tree falling produces sound waves but unless and until those sound waves cause an ear drum to vibrate there are waves but not noise. (Yes, even with no people around, a passing raccoon might hear the tree fall but let's ignore wildlife for the moment.)

Why does this matter? I believe it matters because every time someone responds to a a stupid remark, a dumb idea or, in the legal business, a seriously low-ball offer, they are giving life to something that would better have been ignored as if it never happened.

For example, in an injury case I believe (based on evidence and injuries and damages and not just wishful thinking) that my client ought to get a million dollars; we are at mediation with the defendant (really, the insurance company) trying to settle; and they offer $1,000. If I respond with criticism of their seriously low-ball offer, they are going to defend it and defending what I have criticized will likely become a personal thing.

So, an appropriate response could be: "Nice day today but I heard there would be rain, later." Anything to avoid addressing their $1,000 offer; act as if it never happened and move on. There is no need for the other side to try to convince me their $1,000 was reasonable, no need for them to try to save face or show toughness by defending it because I never even heard it and, certainly, not having heard it, I never thought about it or formed an opinion about it. In my world, the low ball offer never happened.

Are there everyday examples of this? Yes........but, I'm going to have lunch before I get into it.

To be continued..........


So,let's say your wife says "I'm not going with you to your mother's." or your boyfriend says "If you are that upset about what I said to your kid then I just won't have anything to do with him again, ever." or your friend says "That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard." And, your first reaction to what they have said is to start an argument because they are wrong/stupid/insensitive.

First....before you start the argument....you think to yourself (as we all always do): "When have I EVER won an argument with this person?" (maybe you aren't sure if you've ever won and decide to wait for the next blog entry HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO WON THE ARGUMENT?). Second....you answer your own question: Never! You have never, ever, ever won an argument with them.

So, you are faced with a choice:
1) Start the argument that you won't win....or
2) Think to yourself "Did I hear what I thought I heard?" (i.e. won't go/nothing to do with kid/dumb idea). "No", you realize "I did not hear anything like that. In fact, I didn't hear anything at all."

And, since you didn't hear anything, there is no need for you to response. No need to have the other person justify and defend what he/she said. And, since there is no need to respond, you change the subject. "Is it supposed to rain, later?", you ask. Then, you go to the kitchen and eat a banana....and, maybe, some Jello. Then, you use the bathroom.

Later, you say:
-"Are you ready to go?" and you go to your mother's.
-"Let's take little Jaime to the park."

Will this work all the time? No. Will it work sometimes? It has for me.

What about the "dumbest idea"? Look, let's be honest, it probably was a dumb idea. I can't fix that.
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