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social media, Zen

Social Media Lesson from Zen #3: Is That So?

Like yesterday’s post, this passage is a bit long so I have cut it down.

3. Is That So?

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near [Hakuin, Zen master]. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child. This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin. 

In great anger the parents went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would say.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth-that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.

Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: “Is that so?”

– From Zen Flesh Zen Bones, Nyogen Senzaki, english translation by Paul Reps

The usual response to a customer complaint is to respond as quickly as possible and set the record straight. This is especially true in instances of misinformation. The typical response may not always be the best though. Sometimes the only way a customer will learn efficiently is to let them figure it out for themselves. This type of learning can result in a better outcome than trying to convince them of the truth. This path is not always easy, it can be quite painful. No one likes to be blamed for something that isn’t their fault.

If you don’t have confidence in your truth, who else will?


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  1. Pingback: Social Media Lesson from Zen #4: Obedience « youngbloodcreative - May 4, 2011

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