Noëlibrarian's Reviews > Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World

Situations Matter by Sam Sommers
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Feb 22, 12

Read in February, 2012

A few years after I became a driver, I realized that if I used a simple trick -- a silly trick, really -- to explain away the exasperating actions of other drivers, I could keep my cool behind the wheel. When a driver ahead of me creeps along at 3 miles below the limit, or especially when that overcautious motorist takes fo-r-e-vvv-er to complete a turn, I say to myself, "He probably has a fresh pie on the seat next to him." This generates some empathy in my mind, and at least always gets a chuckle from my passengers.

This is really an apt summary of Sommers's book. He encourages us to look past what we see on the surface of interactions, and to practice this as we would strengthen a muscle -- to develop empathy, creativity, and a truer glimpse of the whole startling world beyond our own small experience of life.
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