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I Am An Individual (Or - The Dangers Of Imposing Your Own Ideas On Someone Else)
Every so often people say things which start blog posts cooking in my brain, then other people will unknowingly add ingredients to the melting pot which end up making me feel glad that I waited with writing the blog post.

The subject for this blog post is one such occurrence.

The idea came as I was sitting in Church on Sunday morning listening to Mathew Sheffield preach.  It was one of those occasions when my brain wouldn't quite cooperate with what I was supposed to be doing (listening to the sermon with no distractions) and started shouting at me “BLOG POST ALERT – BLOG POST ALERT”.  Before you think this is going to be a rehash of his sermon – well – it kind of is but with all known religious content removed.

As you know I am involved in an escapade which involves being viewed by various Medical Professionals and having all sorts of opinions thrown at me (although – come to think of it – nobody has said outright that my actions have caused the situation I am in).

The main thread of the sermon (as far as this blog post is concerned anyway) involved one poor guy in the Bible losing everything and ending up being abandoned by his three friends.  They abandoned him after each one gave their opinion on the situation and the best way to put the situation right.

One of them told him that he must have done something to cause his illness (as well as losing everything he also had some kind of illness) and all he had to do to recover was to find out what he had done and attempt to correct it (sounds a bit like Glenn Hoddle's comments about Disabled people having done something bad in a former life).

The second one wasn't much more use – this one just fired off advice about what to do without listening to a word the man said.

The third one just made it all about them – a kind of “How do you think I feel?” scenario.

(I actually didn't mind Mat singling me out during his sermon when he asked me whether I would punch a Doctor who did option 2.  The answer is – I have been more tempted to carry out that course of action than may actually be healthy for me – and not just on Medical Professionals.)

So – I had a blog post cooking in my brain.  It was too hot for me to do very much at all on Monday.  This meant blogging had to wait.

Then my attention was caught by a thread on Twitter by Nathan Constable on the subject of “Leadership and Motivational Posters”.  (Well, to be honest, it was more about Leadership than the posters.)

When Nathan writes I feel compelled to read his output – he writes a lot of sense in a very easy to understand format.

One of his tweets said “If you don't understand yourself I think it is very hard to lead others”.

This is something most people appear to miss completely.  I am talking about just about every human I have ever met who has had some kind of “Authority” over me.  If you ask me the main thing they forgot was that they were likely to be subject to human error precisely because they were in fact human themselves.  Also, them being human means that they are individuals with individual needs, desires, abilities, thought processes, etc.  It is strange how that last sentence also applies to me, isn't it???

This brings me on to Nathan's next standout Tweet - “But the one thing I took from all of this is there is no one single all-purpose one-size-fits-all method of leading”.  Wow – this is a guy who I would have no problem working for – sorry – with.

If you have ever met me you will know that I can best be described as a “Quirky Oddball” with what you might call a very strong allergy to conforming to other people's ideas about me.  Some of this allergy is due to my sight, some of it is due to me being half-Dutch (have you ever tried to order a Dutch person around against their wishes???  This has a nasty habit of ending badly if you have not had previous experience.).

I am Ineke Caroline Poultney – I am an individual – therefore, the best way of getting me to cooperate with your wishes is to treat me as said individual.  This involves simple things like talking to me instead of at me, listening when I say I cannot do something exactly in the way you want it done, giving me all the necessary information  regarding what is happening and what you expect to happen (and be prepared for me to confuse you in some way – particularly if you happen to be a Medical Professional).  Most of all – throw out all known textbooks which you think might give you a clue as to how best to deal with me.  They don't have a chapter on me.

What I am trying to say in my usual “Inky-style” is – trying to force anybody (not just me) to conform with your preconceived ideas will just lead to trouble.  This may sound unbelievable but even I have to guard against judging people by what I think I know about them.

We all need to pay attention to our thoughts and actions regarding other people.

The best thing to do would be “Treat Others In The Same Way As You Would Want Them To Treat You”.

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