Applied Perceptual Agility: Part 1

George Phillips , an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?”

He said “No,” but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.

Then the police dispatcher said “All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available.”

George said, “Okay.”

He hung up the phone and counted to 30.

Then he phoned the police again.

“Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don’t have to worry about them now because I just shot them.” and he hung up.

Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips’ residence, and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the Policemen said to George, “I thought you said that you’d shot them!”

George said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!”

Note: This story seems to be making the rounds on the internet and I’ve no idea as to its origins. It does however humorously exemplify George’s ‘perceptual agility’: the ability to see circumstances from another perspective, and in this case, specifically from the perspective of other people as well.

It’s a great example of wild resiliency, if you will, examplifying the capacity to let go of a world view that no longer serves while adopting a new perspective that does.

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