My World, Your World

“Can you tell me how to get to MacPherson’s Irish Pub?”

“Sure, you head North and at the 4th or 5th stop light, it is on the west side.”

This is the 1st women I had ever met that used magnetic directions. I nearly burst from excitement. This had been a life-long dream.  It was going to be a good night.

As she was telling me to head North, she was pointing directly East. Not a big deal, I know, but I was already a little dizzy since this woman was giving me directions using North, South, East and West instead of the typical feminine “Left  – Right.” It was a long drive and I just wasn’t prepared for this kind of revelation.

So I politely said, “Um you are pointing East…so when you say it is on the West Side, do you mean North Side….urr…the left side?”

She said “NO, That way is North (Still pointing East after simulating a major league baseball throw)”

“I just spent 10 hours on I-95 heading South, I know which way North is.”

With a small dose on Ron White sarcasm….

“Well I have lived here all my life and I sure as hell know where North is!”

I should have dropped it but the “sure as hell” put me over the edge.

So I did it. Yep I went and got my compass out of the balloon trailer.

“Look, this is a compass. It is a newfangled thingy that tells you where North is. Actually we’re in luck because this is the deluxe model, so it tells us not only where North is, but South, West, and yes, even East . So as you can see the direction you have been pointing is East.”

“Well your copasse must be broken because I have lived here my whole life. I’LL PROVE IT TO YOU!, FOLLOW ME!”

So we walked out of the hotel lobby and started to head East down the road. We got to this sign:

Following a celebration dance reminiscent of the 1980 U.S Hockey team she declared: “See you dumb ass, the sign right there says North is that way. Now say you’re sorry!”

You gotta be shittin’ me.

“Yes ….. I-95 South to the right is correct. It is telling you to turn right and you will be heading South. It is one of those freaky laws of Nature that if you are facing East, South is to the right.

The North I-95 Sign is pointing directly East telling you to keep going East, under the bridge. That arrow is pointing where you need to go to get to the North ramp.

I am going to go out on a limb here, but I’ll bet once you go under the bridge there will be a sign that has an arrow pointing left, which if you turn left there, you will merge on to I-95 North.”

“The highway people can’t be wrong, it says “North” that way!!”


“These signs have been her my whole life, they are not wrong.”

“Did it ever occur to you that the North and South arrows on this sign are only 90 degrees apart instead of a 180?”

“What the hell does temperature have to do with it!!?

Uncle…… you win.

“I’ll find MacPhersons on my own. Thanks”

The next day this episode started me thing about business and relationships. Everyone lives in their own world and no two worlds are the same. I wonder how many disagreements stem from a lack of common definitions. Both sides probably think they are making a logical argument,  but they are doing it from an uncommon ground. The assumptions are so far apart they can’t possible see eye to eye. What is interesting is they don’t know they are looking at it from a different foundation. They don’t know what they don’t know.

This reminds me of a quote from Dr. Jorge Martins de Oliveria:

“Our perception does not identify the outside world as it really is, but the way that we are allowed to recognize it, as a consequence of transformations performed by our senses.  We experience electromagnetic waves, not as waves, but as images and colors. We experience vibrating objects, not as vibrations, but as sounds. We experience chemical compounds dissolved in air or water, not as chemicals, but as specific smells and tastes. Colors, sounds, smells and tastes are products of our minds, built from sensory experiences. They do not exist, as such, outside our brain.

Actually, the universe is colorless, odorless, insipid and silent.

Although you and I share the same biological architecture and function, perhaps what I perceive as a distinct color and smell is not exactly equal to the color and smell you perceive. We may give the same name to similar perceptions, but we cannot know how they relate to the reality of the outside world. Perhaps we never will.”

– Dr. Jorge Martins de Oliveira

Maybe I was wrong.

Perhaps directions are a relative thing in Richmond Hill, Georgia.

About admin

Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.


  1. Just read the North South story – excellent. I found the blog from the main web site where I have been dipping in to the 40 answers download. I was watching some football last night (that the proper British football that you play with your feet – think you call it soccer!) and you convinced me to have a go at drawing the woman’s up side down head – just brilliant. Thanks

  2. Do you create these articles yourself? or get others to create them for you? I’ve thought about outsourcing, but never tried it so far, just wondering what other site owners do.

  3. I write them myself…thanks

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