PRACTICAL APPLICATION (worth rereading)
Hank and his family - This chapter demonstrates how to deal with people who are on the offensive, especially when they use sarcasm. Hank doesn't agitate them intentionally. He looks Long Term and always assumes his family has a positive motive. The reason the book is so long is that Ms. Rand does such a thorough job of identifying every known reason in each scene. (Think back to Dagny's questioning of Owen Kellogg.) James took several evasive actions in the first chapter and we saw how to handle each one. In this chapter, the family has a negative interpretation for Hank’s good actions; we saw how Hank handled each one. One example, instead of nailing Philip when he had the chance to, he recognizes he has won and works towards the long-term.
"A fool utters his whole mind, but a wise man keeps it until the end." (Bible) Try this the next time you have a debate: When you have more than one reason that supports your point, give all your reasons EXCEPT your strongest. If your opponent is excellent (as Hank assumes) then they will know you are stronger because you didn't have to state the obvious. If your opponent is not excellent (emotional), they will pursue the only opening you've given. Now they are trapped. They have committed themselves to their weakest position. Their confidence is shot. Besides, they have tacitly agreed with all your other points. Even if they did try to "go back", they are now wary of pursuing your other points figuring you must have even BETTER reasons. Also, they will destroy their credibility in wanting to go back in the same way that a chess player would if they asked if they could have the piece you just captured back so they pursue another course. In a negotiation setting, this is death. Finally, I NEVER give all my reasons in a debate and it causes confusion on the other side because they "fill-in" my argument and credit me with intentions I never had, causing them to pursue a bad angle.
I don't want to spoil the book by showing the answer to the "riddles" ahead of their proper time. However, I think I can make mention of this quote from CSL-MC because Ms. Rand's eventual reason is much more detailed and complete.
Hank is clearly supporting these people and thinking the best about them, YET they seem to hate him more. Why? Is this so unusual? People think what the Germans did to the Jews is unbelievable. CSL-MC says it was the logical end:
"The worldy man treats certain people kindly because he ‘likes’ them: the Christian, trying to treat every one kindly, finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on -- including people he would not even have imagined himself liking in the beginning. The same spiritual law works terribly in the opposite. The Germans, perhaps, at first ill-treated the Jews because they hated them: afterwards they hated them much more because they had ill-treated them. The more cruel you are, the more you will hate; and the more you hate, the more cruel you become -- and so in a vicious circle for ever."
Will Hank be able to bring his family back from the negative side with more kindness?
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