There’s no such thing as winning an argument

Three different ethnic backgrounds, but all of them are friends.

As a business owner I know first hand about how important a relationship with customers is over me being right.

The reason certain brands have “Raving Fans” is because those businesses are thinking of the customer and doing all they can to meet the needs of their customers with solutions they can provide.

One of the most difficult things I struggle with when looking out for the best interests of a client is when I know that a client is going to suffer because of a decision they are making.

In the 1980’s I remember quite clearly my uncle, Knolan Benfield, discovering using a projector to show clients their family portraits.

Knolan Benfield in a bank lobby with his display of the pastors of the churches in Hickory, North Carolina.

He was watching way too many people select 11×14 prints for their walls when they really needed often a 40×60 to do justice to the print.

Knolan was able to help people understand that he wasn’t trying to make more money off a bigger print, but really believed that prints in a typical living room on the wall needed to be a certain size to be appreciated.

He had a watch and a clock in the room where he would project images. By having the smaller clock face most obvious they would often squint to tell the time. Then he would point out the other clock where the size of the face was larger.

Then Knolan would project the photos on a screen. The projector lens was a zoom so he could adjust the size of the image for the clients to see. Having them sit in chairs that were about the same distance from their walls of their house customers would then pick the size they liked. Knolan even had frames to show with the photo once they chose the size.

A headshot could be a lot smaller than say a large family outdoor group photo, because when you make the face the size of a clock for telling time then you have a good guide that helps to guide the customer.

Even with this show and tell customers would choose smaller images when they saw the price difference. The hard costs prevented my uncle from giving them what they really wanted and needed to enjoy the photo they had already invested a great deal to make.

At this point Knolan had to choose the relationship over being right. If he pushed to show how wrong they were then the relationship would dissolve and while they might still buy the smaller print they wouldn’t be back for more photos in the future.

I worked very hard taking these photos of people from around the world. I wanted you to get to know them. They are all God’s children. None of them should be treated like White Supremacist do.

You cannot be profitable in business if you do not treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect. You cannot look down on your customers. You must be able to look them in the eye.

I believe if the United States wants to survive they must learn to act like the small business owner. They must work to embrace everyone they come in contact with.

There are some really great things that will come from someone who puts relationships first.

One of the best things that come from dealing with people you disagree with is that it is quite challenging. When you are passionate about your ideas and beliefs it makes it quite difficult for you to be willing to listen. I have found time and time again that I have done a really poor job of thinking of all the ramifications of my thoughts. Having someone challenge me is in the end a good thing for me.

Your critical thinking cannot be selfish or it is flawed. When grounded in fair-mindedness and intellectual integrity, it is more balanced.

When others disagree with your ideas take it to heart and understand why an idea may not be supported by them. This respect of others ideas means you are really trying to see the other’s perspective. When you really learn to do this well it doesn’t mean you will end up agreeing with them, but you are able to see why they have a different perspective.

This is my uncle James Stanley Leary during WWII as part of Anti-Facists disrupting a large gathering of ethnic supremacists on Saipan.

The past few days Donald Trump has done a great deal of Mansplaining to the public through the media. Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for Charlottesville violence, spurring outrage. Our military fought against regimes that have believed in ethnic cleansing.

Throughout history different groups have been persecuted. Very seldom are they able to stop the violence. The Indian people were not allowed to turn their crops into fabric by the British. They were beaten if they even owned a spinning wheel. It was Gandhi who used non-violence to show the world how they were being treated by the British.

Martin Luther King used peaceful protests to show how white supremacist would torture them in the streets.

I was at an event where in the audience was The Honorable Maynard Jackson, Jr. He commented in a discussion that what was needed most to combat racism was whites standing up for their black friends.

I think he was right. Everyone needs to speak out against injustice that is like what we saw in Charlottesville. We also need to hold our president accountable for the role of the presidency, which is to unify our nation and not divide it as his words are doing now.

We cannot allow to happen to the United States what happened in Germany after World War I that allowed for a White Supremacist movement that caused World War II. It is hard to say with exact certainty how many people were killed during World War II, but estimates vary between 50 million to over 80 million. One thing that everybody agree with is that it has been the deadliest war ever, wiping out around 3 percent of the world population at the time.

You see the Nazi’s were allowed to pursue winning their argument rather than about building relationships.

 

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