Sure About That?

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(Lose the Net by Rasmus Faber Courtesy of Epidemic Music)

It’s amazing how naturally good questions lead us to good answers, and how beautiful questions lead to even better answers! When we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we also open the doors to discovery and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a weekly consideration of things that matter every day.

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If you passed Manuel somewhere and he wasn’t wearing the shirt he wears when he’s working, you might be inclined to make up a story in your mind about him. But would you be sure about what you saw? And would your story be right? If you think so, I have to ask, “Sure about that?”

Join me this week as we consider ways of busting some of our pre-conceived ideas and stepping out of judgment. Stay with me.

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Last week a frustrating situation ended up bringing me to tears, though not in the way you might expect. I certainly didn’t expect what was about to unfold.

After spending a couple of hours finishing the writing of last week’s podcast script at a local restaurant, I mentally planned my day as I walked back to my car in the parking lot. When I turned the key, nothing happened. Trying again, I realized that one of two things was likely. Either my starter had gone out or my battery had died. But not to worry. I called roadside assistance and was told that a wrecker would be dispatched within two hours.

Another lesson in patience.

Since it was already a hundred degrees outside, I chose to wait inside a nearby store from which I could see my car. Ninety minutes later, I got a call from the wrecker driver, telling me that he was about fifteen minutes away. We confirmed my location, and he asked how he would recognize me.

“Just look for the cowboy,” I told him.

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When he pulled into the lot, I walked toward his truck. I’m not exactly hard to spot. As he rolled his window down, I read him quickly, but wasn’t willing to make assumptions about the man I was looking at.

Hispanic, his arms and hands covered in gang-related tattoos, including two teardrops below one eye, Manuel (not his real name) is probably in his early thirties. Looking at the teardrops and then looking him in the eyes, I calmly asked, “So, who’d you run with when you were younger?” “Man, that was a long time ago,” he said. “I stepped away from that life.” When I guessed the gang he’d been part of, it surprised him. I’m pretty sure my refusal to judge him also came as a surprise.

But I have to admit, I wasn’t quite ready for the surprises that came next.

As we drove to the location where my battery would be replaced, Manuel spoke candidly about his former life. “I’ve been shot three times,” he said, “including by my own brother. Because of that, and because they’re still in the life, I have nothing to do with my family anymore.” Smiling, he went on to tell me about his new life after spending time in one of the worst prisons in Texas and how he enjoyed his work and enjoyed helping other people.



We were pulling onto the freeway when I asked him about the American flag draped across the dash of his truck. “Oh, I keep that with me all the time,” he said. “I had just picked up a couple of vehicles at the scene of an accident when I came over a hill and saw a car on fire. I could see a man struggling inside it while cars were going by. I couldn’t drive past him and do nothing, so I hit the brakes and ran and opened his door and cut his seatbelt loose and pulled him out. He was a Marine, and he gave me this flag for saving his life.”

As I was letting that sink in, he told me it wasn’t the first time he pulled someone out of a burning car, but that he didn’t consider himself a hero. “I just wanted to do the right thing,” he said. I had tears in my eyes as he told me about it. His intentional kindness and his decision to live a better life touched my heart.

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After he unloaded my car at the repair location, he came into the lobby with my keys and grinned as he offered me his hand. Instead of shaking it, I hugged him and wished him well and told him I was glad to have met a hero that day.

Would it surprise you that there was a time that I would have jumped to the wrong conclusions when I first saw him? But over the years, I’ve learned a few things from some wise people, including some of my cowboy friends. I can hear them asking me the truly beautiful question, “Sure about that?”

A great way to bust the habit of rushing to judgment is to consider some of the false assumptions people have made about you and the judgments that came as a result of those assumptions. Since I’m not a mind reader, I’m finding it much more useful to ask better questions and put my automatic thinking back in the compost pile where it belongs.

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That brings us to this week’s three Beautiful Questions.

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Question One: To the degree you know it, what judgments have other people made about you and what resulted from those judgements?

Question Two: How have you automatically judged others, and what have those judgments led to?

Question Three: How might you notice that you’re judging yourself or someone else, and what practical steps will you take to shut that habit down?

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I’d love to hear where your considerations take you. Write and tell me about them. I’ll keep an open mind.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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I’m happy we can engage this way every week as we consider things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself. You deserve that.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And each week at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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