The story was about how a female television writer had the idea that she would create a jeopardy-like quiz show with teenage girls as the contestants. In her vision of this show, the girls would intelligently answer challenging questions, thus influencing other teenage girls at a time in their lives where the presentation of intelligence isn't the highest priority. As it turned out, the girls didn't answer the questions intelligently. What the television writer thought would happen didn't happen at all, and in order to save the show, questions like "What is the capital of Utah?" turned into "Who has the best ass, Luke Perry or Brad Pitt?".
After this woman told the story, he asked the question:
"Do you think this was one of those situations where you make the incorrect assumption that everyone thinks the way that you do?"
That struck a chord with me. I've been troubled by this lately, in that I feel as if I'm just projecting the way I think onto others. I feel like I'm being judgmental about how folks who do what I do, spend their time.
For instance, the other day, I received a company-wide email from the VP of the company, asking for people to write some blog posts, and to send any ideas his way. I, of course, had a few, and was chomping at the bit to start writing about it. When I asked the VP what kind of response he got, from our 100 person company, it turns out I was the only response he got.
1 out of 100 who was willing, even eager to contribute and get their name out on a site that gets a pretty good amount of traffic. I couldn't figure out why anyone wouldn't want to do it. It was puzzling to me.
I need to be better at understanding the fact that people have different interests than I do, different perspectives on how best to spend their time, or what kinds of things are valuable to them.
I'm just going to keep telling myself that not everyone has to be a intelligent teenage girl.