A long time ago I had a service company and when we had a particularly opinionated customer we had a technique we called the unsell. I stole the idea from a 7up commercial. Back then it was unusual to mention a competitor’s name in your commercial.  They went way beyond that, they used the competitor’s product to define theirs. They were calling 7up the uncola. The unsell technique consisted of causally mentioning what it was you wanted to sell and then quickly assuring them they wouldn’t be interested. The key was you had to act like you didn’t really want to do it. A surprising number of times they would insist that it would be right for them; after a quick sigh, I would smile and tell them of course, I’ll get right on that. Everybody was happy.

Being a typical male I spent much of my life  explaining to people who cared about me, how they could best be of use. Somewhere along the lines there was a general mutiny and I found myself spending most of my time in my own company. This wasn’t all bad, after all who better to talk to. The flaw in the plan became apparent when I found out I had cancer. I was really going to need some help and it seemed I had already used up my allotted portion of goodwill. In a stroke of brilliance I came up with the unself. You need to remember I was desperate, scared and had very limited options. So I decided to become concerned with other peoples welfare. You probably thinking you mean pretending like your concerned, I know I would be. The fact of the matter is it was easier to be genuine. My situation sucked so why not concentrate on helping others. It worked amazingly well. People were incredibly kind and it really helped my anxiety. Recently, the country has experienced some major tragedies. The scope of the misery is really hard to comprehend; both mother nature and man can be cruel. Amid the devastation it is good to remember the heroic acts of kindness that both unite and remind us that there is hope for us has a society. For an individual there will come a time in your life when hope will run out. Maybe it is a good time to pray.

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