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Are You Open Or Closed?

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Sometimes our culture lacks the words to properly explain what we are thinking or meaning.

Americans have a term “Open minded.”

But I just “Googled” “Open Minded” and got a test with these first two questions:

--Does it bother you to see two women kissing?
--Do you think that it is all right for an 18 year old to date a 45 year old?

So “open minded” has, in many cases, taken on a sort of risk taking, sexual or permissive overtone.

When I asked if you were “open” or “closed” I am thinking in these terms: do you welcome new friends even of other nationalities and races (open), do you smile and greet family and friends readily when you meet (open) or are you skeptical and even worrisome when you receive a gift (closed)?

I have a brother in law who hardly speaks to me (closed).  Now it seems he has forbidden his son from speaking to me.  I cannot recall wronging them in any way.  I think it is just that they are closed.  More like "locked shut."

I have been buying cars from the same agency for about twenty years. When I started, I was closed. I was just doing a business transaction and I wanted it over as soon as possible. I made no small talk and after I bought that first car I couldn’t tell you the name of one person in the agency.It would never in a million years have occurred to me to go into the owner’s office, introduce myself, and either complain or compliment him. I was closed.

Over time, I began to open up. The same service group took care of my cars year after year and I began to know their names. Then one day: the big breakthrough occurred.

My wife was waiting while I picked up a car after service. I told her I would wave at her when I know my car was ready and she could leave. But just as I waved a man walked between my distant wife and me. He had no idea who I was and I didn’t know him from Adam. But he weakly waved back.

Good thing I didn’t tell her I’d blow her a kiss.

He turned out to be the owner of the dealership so I followed him into the office to compliment him on his fine service department. We chatted for an hour and became fast friends. When you sell and service cars, it is best if you are open.

The very next time I took my car in for service (it is 7 years old) when the service manager told me my car was ready the driver pulled up in a newer model of a much better and more expensive car. He said, “Here she is Mr. Carey,” and gave me the keys.

I went right into the owner’s office to thank him. It took a few minutes to determine that there was another John Carey in the same dealership on the same day. Figure the odds on that.

I was open and happy and laughing. The other John Carey acted as if he had been violated. Closed for ever!

The owner, the service manager and I all had a good laugh.  All open.

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John Carey Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.
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