The Cinderella Theory

“If the shoe fits, wear it.”

I recall first hearing this pithy aphorism spoken by Greg Otte in the 1980’s and referred to by him as the Cinderella Theory.  I am not referencing the 1989 George Clinton song of the same name (never heard it), or the 1990 “Cinderella Effect” theory of abuse (different context), but the saying is claimed by so many that “author unknown” must suffice until I am corrected (with full citations, please!).

The Theory’s admonition cannot be forgotten because opportunities for its application daily blossom all around us, when we or others deny culpability, say one thing and do another, and on and on.  So much invective and umbrage is tossed about by those clearly trying to avoid responsibility and truth – and at those helpfully trying to correct error and return an endeavor to a rightful course.  Too many work too much overtime to besmirch others – to use another old saw, “paint with the same brush”.  

The Cinderella Theory also applies to those who try to entrap others (and often entrap themselves in self-justification as a result) with intentional or unwitting utilization of fallacies to support their own arguments or to put others on the defensive and change the subject of the “conversation”.  

I am not above reproach in many things, and do not exempt myself from necessary application of The Cinderella Theory as constructive criticism when correction is needed and gracefully applied by a loving friend.  I am also not exempt from being on the receiving end of mean-spirited attacks by others when the “guilt by association” label they wish to apply serves to fulfill their naive or intentionally warped self-serving purposes.  I do try mightly to avoid being on the “false attack” side of the equation, and we all need to be a lot more introspective about our actions and our motives in every regard.  The place to start is with Truth and putting the best construction on the actions and intent of others.  We can “turn the other cheek” when the attacks are from the naive or do not cause irreparable harm.  However, we must also heed and act upon Edmund Burke’s warning that,

“All that is required for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”

Are YOUR ears also burning as you read this little polemic?  Well, then,

If the shoe fits, wear it!   


About randysrules

From a professional background in architecture, community and regional planning, urban design, leadership, and fine arts, this blog provides insights on ethics, leadership, architecture/planning/urban design, Venice, and whatever intrigues me at the time. Enjoy!
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