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Monday, June 21, 2010

Tipping Points

There was a book published in 2000 with the title The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.  I have not read the book, so cannot comment on it.  But I love its title.  To me it means much the same thing as “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”  It’s that point when one additional “little thing” can initiate a perceptual shift in the consciousness.  Many probably experience this when they are thinking about buying a new car but are putting it off.  They are quietly at unease about the dependability of their present car.  Finally something occurs, maybe an unsettling sound while braking, and the tipping point is reached.  Abruptly there is a confident decision that it’s time to trade.  Overnight, hesitancy becomes certainty.  An irrevocable judgment is made to trade in for a new car.

The tipping point happened with me today when I was expecting a response from someone I know.  I had written them a letter (my response to one of their mailings).  Rather than getting a response, I got another email blast written to many totally overlooking my earlier letter.  This told me they were all for communication—but one-way communication.  I became angry and resolute in my decision to discount further communication from this source.  It may seem petty, but I concluded if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them.  The human expectation for parity comes into play once more.

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