Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

January 9, 2013

Benefits of Taking People at Face Value, and President Reagan

President Reagan popularized the quote, "Trust but verify." But in practice, he just trusted people and did not much bother about verifying, to the exasperation of his wife, Mrs Nancy Reagan. Still we all crown him the acme of social skills, grace, poise and charm. What did he know that we didn't?

Was President Reagan Practising Psycho-Therapy?

You can tell a therapist that you are a king, Elvis, Napoleon or a dragon and he won't be shocked, offended or amused. He'll behave as if he believes you.

Similarly, you can tell President Reagan that your rich or wise or loyal or whatever and he would believe you.

President Reagan had deep insights into human nature, whether dealing with leaders of foreign countries, Hollywood moguls, or his constituencies. Yet, it's hard to accept he's doing psycho-therapy in his social circles.

Was President Reagan Practising Tantrism?

There's a school of Tantric thought in the communes of which you can take on any identity you fancy.

Say, this week, you declare yourself as a daredevil pilot in World War II, and the commune members will treat you as such. Next week, you say you are a snake and they will provide you with milk, raw eggs, room to crawl around etc. The hope is, gradually you will become tired of false identities and arrive at your true, natural, core identity.

Benefits of Taking People at Face Value

President Reagan took people at face value.

Say, I tell him I am rich enough to own a private jet. If this is a lie, then I will have to invent more lies to cover up the first one: What is the model of my jet? How much does it cost? Where do I park? What are the parking rates? How large is the hangar? How do I train? Who is my trainer? If not flying myself, who is my pilot? What is the pilot's fees? How much fuel does it consume per month in average? Gradually, I must stop somewhere.

Meanwhile, I won't dare to offer him a ride on my non-existent private jet.

But then, though President Reagan took me at face value, he'd be wise enough not to schedule his travel plans by relying on my non-existent private jet.

There is no point in lying to a person like President Reagan, and liars invariably arrive at this understanding before President Reagan runs out of his patience.

They run out of their wits before he runs out of his.

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