Good Narrative Principles

Character Flash: What Gives?


I am crushing it with my weak ties; the cashier, the mail carrier, the neighbor across the street. They all shoot big smiles. Ask me how I’m doing. I get the feeling that it’s not an idle question. They’re asking because they want to know…because they care.

But, in the office, with my staff, say, when I’m running a meeting about tactics to meet next quarter’s projections, I get a roomful of hard stares. Granted, I’m the boss, so it’s not exactly a level playing field. At home, it’s the same drill. Read an article recently about what constitutes a healthy breakfast, which I mention at dinner. Here I am, pleased with myself for not lobbing this information at my kids in the stressful moments before they race out the door, but, rather, during the relative calm of early evening. Still, I get eye rolls and acres of sullen silence. Which leads me to two harsh truths. One: I’m uncomfortable wielding my authority. Two: No one thinks of themselves as evil.

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