reason 57

Reason is a monthly missive from the partners of Essex Two, a vertically integrated communication consultancy. We invite our readers to think in new ways about their business, their customers and the opportunities for meaningful communication between them. Joseph and Nancy Essex

Assumption, Assertion, Exaggeration: 1 of 2  Most people feel that it’s perfectly reasonable to make assumptions based on what appear to be obvious facts.

The last six people running into the hotel lobby were wet. Therefore it was reasonable to assert that because they were drenched to the skin, standing in puddles of water that it was raining quite hard. A man on a cell phone was overheard saying that this was the worst storm of the season, and quite possibly the beginning of a major weather event.

Because we were in the lobby at the newsstand, we would not feel he was misleading the person on the other end, just exaggerating a little. With a context for the content we were able to put the facts as we saw them in proper perspective.

We have become used to depending on others for everyday information to the point that we hardly ever question the source, the accuracy, or the motivation of those providing the content. The proliferation of 24-hour news networks, and the internet with its personality-driven blogs delivering facts, opinions, editorials, commentary, propaganda, distortions, misrepresentations, and lies as information without attribution or affirmation have replaced contemplation, conversation and examination. This acquiescence to those that appear to be “in the know” has changed what we really know.

When forming our own opinions and making decisions that impact our financial, medical, political and emotional choices, we are so accustomed to incorporating information from these sources, we don’t even question if they are the correct answers, if they are the only answers or even if they are the right questions. While this may not seem like such a big deal, it does have consequences.

Paranoia aside, by relinquishing our responsibility to understand what we know and fully appreciate its relevance to us and ours, we assume a benevolence that may not exist. Even if we were to ignore the possible malevolent or self-serving reasons for influencing the accuracy of information, we have to recognize there are many reasons for rearranging the truth.

Parents, doctors and lawyers regularly profess a benign benevolence as motivation for recommending a particular course of action for our own good. While the advice may be benign, it may not be good. In general, our dependence on others to gather, weight, apportion and present the choices we have is an abdication of responsibility.

However, by moving from the lobby to the revolving door it would be possible to see a city sanitation vehicle that sweeps the streets and washes the gutters, has hit the drop-down door of a newspaper delivery van. Water from the truck is showering every passenger getting off the bus from the airport.

Our new Essex Two website features the collaboration tools we created for our clients which were designed to help them understand and better participate in the communication process both logically and aesthetically.


Worth your time:  Bobby is a current film written and directed by Emilio Estevez. While it takes place on the day of his assassination, the heart of the film is about the ideas of Robert F. Kennedy and his dreams for our country. This is a must-see for you and for those under 20 looking for leadership.

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”
–American poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier.

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