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React to the Reality, Not the Image of It

Years ago, a friend came home with a new, top-of-the-line road bike. My first thought: How can he afford that? It seemed like such a big purchase based on what I thought I knew. We lived in the same neighborhood, were close to the same age and both had young families. His life looked a lot like mine — at least I thought it did.

It was only later I learned he’d paid for the bike using a small portion of the annual interest he’d earned on his investments. In other words, he could afford it. At the time, I had no way of knowing that the image I had had of my friend wasn’t reality.

It turns out we can get into trouble when we assume the image is the reality.

Read the rest of the article at The New York Times.

 

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