If you could choose a superpower that only you would possess, what would it be? Would it be the ability to fly like Superman? Or would you choose the ability to travel through time like Dr. Strange, or to live forever like Peter Pan? There’s one superpower that I think would be of great benefit to me in my dealings with other people on both a personal and business level.
That power would be the ability to see right through a person, directly into his or her soul. If I had that ability, I would be able to immediately determine whether the person was honest or dishonest, sane or insane, pure or evil. I wouldn’t have to rely on my limited human abilities to determine whether it was prudent to develop a personal or business relationship with the person.
This superpower would probably be more of a curse than a blessing because I would be able to see all the faults and defects of everyone I came into contact with, which would likely cause me great distress.
I thought about that particular superpower a couple of weeks ago when I read some comments that were related to my article about the contractor (“Ray”) who had used gaslighting in an attempt to get me to agree to pay for additional services. After I wrote the article, I received comments from two men who wanted to know why I decided to do business with someone who used questionable methods on me to try to sell me additional services.
There was a time in America when you could generally trust most of the people you came into contact with. The time I’m referring to was when most Americans were raised on the Judeo-Christian values that our country was founded upon. Prior to the 1960s, children who were enrolled in the public school system were taught the Ten Commandments.
They were also taught the Christian virtues of honesty, humility, temperance, respect, moderation, self-control, discipline, integrity, compassion, gratitude, kindness, patience, perseverance, contentment, confidence, self-respect, loyalty, self-reliance, resourcefulness, order, frugality, sincerity, cleanliness, chastity, and purity.
Unfortunately, because of the secularization of our culture and the complete abandonment of the teaching of Christian virtues, there is now a high probability that a majority of people you come into contact with do not believe in or practice the same morals and virtues that you and I believe in and practice.
When President Reagan was elected in 1980, he was the first president in the history of our country who had been divorced and remarried. Thirty-six years later, the American people elected a president who had been divorced twice and was on his third marriage. Until 1980, it was impossible for a divorced person to be elected president of the United States, because the majority of voters felt that such a man lacked the moral character to lead our great nation.
Unfortunately, we can no longer assume that the people we meet are honorable, trustworthy, or in possession of high moral standards. To protect ourselves, we must at least keep in mind that when we meet a person, he or she cannot be trusted. But if we decide to adopt this attitude toward everyone we meet, we can easily become cynical and paranoid, which could easily end up influencing the way we treat the people we currently have relationships with.
Last year, when I found out that my roof had been damaged by hail, I called four roofing companies for estimates. The four men who came to my house to do estimates appeared to be knowledgeable and honest. Three of the men provided straightforward estimates that were based on replacing the shingles on my roof with the same type of shingles that had been previously used.
When the fourth man came to my house, he noticed that there were fields on the north and east sides of my house. He asked if we had problems with high winds coming across the fields. I answered yes and told him that we previously had some shingles replaced because of wind damage. He then proceeded to tell me that the only way he would do the job was if I was willing to invest in higher-quality, wind-resistant shingles that are manufactured by Owens Corning Corporation.
Ray warned me that his price was going to be higher than what the insurance company was willing to pay. He said that if I insisted on choosing the same type of shingles that were on my house, he was not willing to do the job, because it could harm the reputation of his company. He didn’t want to be blamed at a later time for using the wrong shingles on the house.
Ray also insisted that I replace the gutters on my house with wider, deeper gutters. He pointed out an area on my patio that had settled because rainwater had repeatedly flowed over on one of the gutters, which caused pooling on the concrete. Over time, the pooling caused the concrete to settle a couple of inches.
After meeting with Ray, I read the online reviews for his company. I also checked out some of the work his company had done for other homeowners. From the best that I could tell, his company had a good reputation and did high-quality work.*
I did lose some confidence in him when he pulled the gaslighting routine on me, but I wasn’t surprised at how aggressive he was, because he was aggressive with me from the beginning when he insisted that I use different shingles and replace the gutters.
My decision to hire Ray’s company was not difficult, because I was confident that I had found the right company to do the job. But he did end up hurting himself when he engaged in what I considered unethical behavior. If he had not used his gaslighting methods on me, I would have been willing to post a favorable online review and recommend his company to other people.
I will say that over the years, I have developed a high level of confidence in my ability to make the right decisions when it comes to dealing with various individuals I may not be able to completely trust. I can be confident because I know from faith and experience that the Mother of God always guides me in all my decisions.
She consistently watches over me because I pray her Rosary every day. And I mentally call out to her several times each day and ask for her assistance in helping me with my decisions and my work. I still make mistakes, but ever since I started praying the daily Rosary — more than 40 years ago — I’ve never made a mistake that has been so severe that it caused me to suffer from any grave consequences. I’ve always been able to recover from and benefit from my mistakes.
Most people don’t think about or understand how important it is to develop and maintain a daily, dynamic relationship with the Mother of God. They don’t realize that she actually does have the power to see through people, directly into their souls. She knows exactly what I’m up against when I’m dealing with someone, and she is willing and able to give me the guidance that I need to make the right decisions.
None of us will ever have the power to see directly into people’s souls. But we do have access to someone who not only has that power, but loves us and has a burning desire to help us in everything that we do. Before she can help us, though, we have to reach out to her every day with her preferred method of communication — the holy Rosary.
*Ray’s company completed the job last week and did a great job on the shingles and the gutters.