Advantage Denton

April 29, 2009

Believing Without Thinking

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 12:32 pm

I think it is a pretty universal trait for people to not think deeply and not to constantly test assumptions and beliefs that we rely on as vital to our daily lives. For instance, I believe that my husband is a good and true husband and I am not constantly checking up on him to make sure that is still true.  I think that I would be able to see and investigate any evidence that I came across that would tend to show that this is not true. I hope that I would not rush to judgment that the opposite is true, even if some seemingly horrid information came to my attention. Because I trust my husband and he trusts me, we make our life together knowing that we “have each other’s back”. This belief that I rely on is vital to many decisions I make and I don’t constantly scrutinize and double check to make sure my belief in him is still warranted.

If I were paranoid about my husband’s intentions or actions, it would take my attention away from other things that I am doing. Since he is the wind beneath my wings, I would be unable to soar. If I were easily led to think bad things about him, I would be vulnerable to my own misinterpretations of data or to other people deliberately trying to harm my family relationship for their own gain.

If the saying “The wife is always the last to know.” were true in my life, I would ignore evidence that I should pay attention to because it did not fit in with the beliefs I want to remain true. That would be very bad, I think.

It seems to me that retaining a sensible balance of placing trust only where it is warranted and then having a sensible level of wariness about continuing trustworthiness is the best way to go, with spouse trust and other beliefs that we hold. Sometimes, a belief that we base many of our decisions on is questioned. How we react to such questioning can make a huge difference in life-altering outcomes. For example, read the following quote:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? -Epicurus, philosopher (c. 341-270 BCE)

Many people find this quote annoying. It causes them cognitive dissonance which is discomfort from thinking about two contradictory ideas at once. This is very uncomfortable and most people will immediately discard the idea that does not fit with the beliefs they are already comfortable with. If you have an idea about God that does not fit in this quote, the thought in the quote is just noise to you, not something to actually think about.

Many sellers of ideas know that someone else may come along and challenge them. If you want to promote your idea and defeat challenges, you can use a number of tactics to head them off before they even start. One way to do this is to attack first. If you already warned me that someone else is gunning for you, I may be more skeptical when they do follow that prediction and I may discount what they say. If you have the authority to tell me not to listen to anyone else, maybe I will follow your direction and block off any communication that conflicts with your message. If you appeal to my emotions and other beliefs I already have and rely upon, I may be willing to assume that you are to be believed over other people.

Since this blog is part of Advantage Denton and I care passionately about finding lawyers to help people, I want to tie this concept into lawyer finding. I believe that using a lawyer finder is a great value to you and to the lawyer. You pay $99 and receive personalized service to find the right lawyer for you and the lawyer pays 30 minutes of their time and gets the possibility of being hired by a good pre-screened client who knows the value of legal services and already paid $99, thereby proving their legitimacy as a potential client.

When you hire a lawyer, you place a great deal of faith in their integrity and in the advice you get from them.  You need to believe in your lawyer. When you try to find a lawyer for yourself, it is very likely that you will come across mainly lawyers who pay more money to promote themselves more effectively. Sometimes the lawyer who pays the most for advertising is the right lawyer for you. Many more times, you can learn to your sorrow that they are not. If you expect to get an attorney’s advice for free, you expect advice that is worth less than what you paid (less than zero). If you hire the lawyer who is easily found, without proper research of their background, you pay for those big advertisements and for the other masses of clients the lawyer is reeling in with that expensive advertising.

We would love to help you (and the other people you know) by finding the right lawyer. Please call us at 877-LAW-CALM (877-529-2256) or get a discount by hiring us online by clicking here: Have us Find the Right Lawyer for You.

April 23, 2009

Keeping it Simple

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 5:05 pm

Recently I heard someone wish out loud that everything could just be simple again. Like it used to be. When we knew what was right and who was wrong. The way I deal with things getting too complex is to realize that it is not my responsibility to have a firm opinion on every subject that comes up. The only time it is really important for me to have an opinion is when I need to take an action based on what I deem to be the right thing to do at the time.

There are plenty of people out there who will tell you what you should think about pretty much any topic you name. The folks who presume to dictate to you the “truth” about a lot of different subjects can be called demagogues or cult leaders. They may seem to make things simple, because they cut out all of your responsibility to make up your own mind, but they are very dangerous people to listen to. No one is an expert on everything. No one should degrade other people just because they don’t agree with a particular world view. Life is complex and things do change.

It is very comfortable and easy for us to all listen only to folks who spout off things we already agree with. It is such a pleasure to hear someone else come up with a new justification or explanation of why my opinion is right. Hearing out individuals who think a different way is uncomfortable, but not a waste of time. One of the best investments you can make is finding some people, worthy of respect, but who see the world differently from you and listening to them. No one is correct all of the time. Everybody makes mistakes. Learning from others (and from their mistakes) is the smartest thing you can do.

Bringing this discussion around to lawyer finding, as I tend to do, is not difficult. It is by seeking out the expertise of an attorney who knows the area of law and court system relevant to your issues that you make the very best use of other people’s knowledge. It does simplify things a lot to hire an expert and make good use of their advice. Just make sure you get the right expert in the first place. That is where lawyer finders come in. Because they are expert at finding the right lawyer for you and they have no conflict of interest (like they would have if lawyers paid them), lawyer finders connect you with the lawyer who will tell you truth. That is the way to keep it simple. Have us find the right lawyer for you.

April 15, 2009

Public Data about you vs. Privacy

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 12:33 pm
Melissa Denton

Melissa Denton

Last week I wrote about the glory (in my opinion) of diversity. Admitting the dark truth that I am different from lots of other people should be freeing, but it is a little scary.  What if someone figures out more stuff about me and then is more able to manipulate me? Perhaps I should divulge nothing and keep a fortress of mystery about my persona…

Such mystery is so uninteresting that I doubt anyone would care to scale the walls of my fortress and I don’t want to live in any lonely fortress. Another option would be to “hide the ball” and be untruthful or vague about who I am or what I really think. That way, people might think me interesting and they would not have the amunition to figure out my vulnerabilities. But I am no liar and so that option is out.

Why, you might ask, is protection against vulnerabilities even worth writing about? Because self defense is a major focus and priority for me and for other life forms who wish to continue to exist. Perhaps I take self defense to extremes more than other people – like becoming a black belt in karate, becoming a lawyer and taking other measures which make me a less convenient victim. It is also probably unusual to spend time thinking about which self disclosures might make bad guys better armed.

Social and business networking sites, twitter and other self disclosure opportunities in our society are encouraging many people to open up about their thoughts and preferences more than they did before. Some people are learning that “letting it all hang out” in public, accessible places can result in negative consequences when potential employers, the press, or other unintended viewers learn more about you than you want them to. On the other hand, reconnecting with my high school classmates on Facebook and writing a blog about what I am thinking are enriching parts of my life.

Because of my hyper security awareness and preference for lots of self control, I hope I don’t disclose much that would interest a predator. I worry, though, about folks who have good hearts and occasional lapses of judgment which they readily paste onto publicly available places. Change is the constant part of our lives and this change in society of communication over the internet is adding a new dimension of risk to our lives. It also creates a new type of social interaction which is evolving a life of its own. Who would have thought of tweets becoming powerful ways to solve problems or make life better?

Being a lawyer and having a business that connects people to the right lawyer are both very fulfilling. It is a big focus of that work to protect clients from themselves (when possible) and from others. We all operate from a framework of who we are and what we think of the world. From my perspective, it makes sense to carefully balance what information you divulge in any place that may become public.

Be careful who you let take pictures of you and what you appear to be doing in those pictures. Be careful what you put into the public record about any litigation you are involved in. Think ahead about what information you divulge in a social networking site, a tweet, a blog or anyplace else others can learn about you. My practice and advice is to be the person you believe you should be and to make sure that the publicly available data about you is consistant with that image. When you are not or can not be perfectly in tune with who you want others to think you are, keep that information private, for goodness sake.

April 7, 2009

Human & Nature

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 9:02 pm
Melissa Denton

Melissa Denton

It is very interesting to think about differences in what people enjoy or have passion for. Within even one family or between cultures separated by many miles the individual complexities of what people choose to spend their time and other resources on are amazing.

It is quite a leap of imagination for me to understand why many people enjoy smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling, hunting, fishing, listening to music or watching sports. Although I have been around people who do all of these things and they seem to be from the same planet as me, it is really puzzling to me that lots of time and money are spent on these things. Many (perhaps most) of the people reading this will wonder what planet I am from and whether there is anything on earth left for me to enjoy. I don’t completely avoid exposure to fishing, music or sports spectacles, they just don’t generally do much for me. What on earth is the good of an Ipod, I ask you? Music combined with other things or learning to sing in the group voice lessons I am in right now can be great. Just listening, is not fun to me.

Isn’t it great that different people like different things? Isn’t it amazing that some people don’t think so? The United States system of government was founded by people who realized that it is not necessary for everyone to think alike to live together in a wonderful society. Many people in cultures different from ours believe that it is appropriate and desirable to force all other people to believe and behave exactly as they say. Some people in the USA would feel comfortable dictating everyone else’s actions and beliefs. The original settlers who fled persecution in their native countries when they came to North American shores were perfectly willing to dictate beliefs and actions of everyone else, even after the difficult journey to get here. The Puritans were not a tolerant people. Freedom is not to be taken for granted.

I am very grateful that I get to read books, practice law, be a mom and learn many things as my way of having fun. It is wonderful that no one makes me listen to music for long times or go hunting to kill animals. It is good to have the options of eating meat and wearing the clothing styles I choose. I can tolerate and try to understand other people’s interests but it is really uncomfortable to tolerate intolerance. We can not and should not all be just alike.

Part of the reason that I started this business is that it is important to me to be good at what I do and what I love doing. It is ridiculous (in my humble opinion) to expect everyone else to know all the stuff that a lawyer finder knows and to do as good a job at finding an attorney for every type of need. I don’t expect lawyer finders to know how to do or to enjoy doing all of the types of things you do. That is why we live in a society, so that we can all play to our strengths. Isn’t it great?

April 1, 2009

Destiny, secret agent cow of action

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 3:33 pm

(a little bit of light hearted lawyer finding, for your entertainment…)

It is a dark and stormy night. Destiny, secret agent cow of action, is munching on a few wisps of hay and appearing to be a dull sleepy bovine beast. In truth, as we well know, her mind is a foment of brilliant thoughts and razor sharpness. A good thing, too, as the call to action comes ever so suddenly.

The explosion rends the air and about bursts Destiny’s eardrums. No sooner has she leapt into her electric blue tights and cape than she charges into the scene of torment. This is a sad one, folks. It looks like Goofball Dooger exploded his outhouse, making Welshdebt Batdome really afraid. You see, Goofball had dumb dreams of being a famous domestic terrorist. When he heard that fertilizer was an ingredient for bombs, he tried experimenting with the flamethrower on the outhouse. Unfortunately, Welshdebt was using highly explosive chemicals to secretly print fake money in the outhouse.

Welshdebt barely escaped with singed eyebrows and nether regions and is in the process of strangling Goofball, just as Destiny arrives. Her thundering hooves do not attract anyone’s attention, since their hearing is gone. Destiny’s electric blue cape swirls magnificently into Welshdebt’s eyes and causes him to stumble back into the hole left gaping open and stinky due to the outhouse being there no more. Goofball’s life is saved just in time.

Now, Destiny really begins to shine. She finds lawyers for Goofball, who is charged with numerous crimes related to use of a flamethrower on an outhouse. His domestic terrorist dreams are over, but when Destiny finds him a great attorney to sue Welshdebt for assault, Goofball is really happy.

Welshdebt stinks really bad, but Destiny is able to find him great criminal defense attorneys to minimize his time in the clinker for money manufacturing and attempted murder. Of all the lucky things, Destiny is on hand to find the right probate lawyers when Welshdebt’s Uncle Batty Batdome passes on, leaving millions to Welshdebt. The movie rights from the jailhouse expose penned by Welshdebt are secured by, you guessed it, a lawyer Destiny found.

…. stay tuned for more breath taking adventures of Destiny, super cow secret agent

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