Integrity Matters
August 13, 2008

Caught in a web or saved by a net?

Question: (E-355)

Spiders weave webs and capture prey. Nets are used to catch fish; providing food necessities for billions of people. Both webs and nets are effective. So, how do you feel about your situation? Are you caught in a web? Have you been saved by a net? 

There was a time when differentiating between a world-wide Web and the work of an ordinary spider would not be required. The word NET would never be mistaken for digital technology that connects people and enterprises all over planet Earth. 

But, just for this commentary, let's focus on spiders and webs and those who whose nets enable them to bring home things that swim. 

Web, of the spider kind, often is associated with the dark-side: intrigue, control and death. The poet wrote: "O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" Sir Walter Scott - Marmion - 1797. Webs can be menacing, intimidating and deadly. Yet, when striving to capture a criminal, an All-Points-Bulletin (APB) is a web we appreciate and value.  

When in need of a helping hand to find a "lost" anything, it is common to call on our friends and associates and ask them to "triangulate" on the problem until it is solved: the wallet recovered, the child returned, the old friend located, or an illusive file or name resurfaced. So, the "web" can be a good thing. 

Way back when, law enforcement referred to these efforts to sweep an area as a dragnet. There is that word NET again. 

On the other hand, when we get caught "mis-speaking" - modern political English for lying, the web catches us. During off-hand moments, when the assumption is that no one is paying attention, somehow, some way, a live, "hot" microphone reveals some of our most embarrassing, even humiliating, thoughts and words. Lesson: Nothing is ever really off the record, and we are seldom off-stage - most especially when others are nearby. Most especially children! 

As we think through our relationships, personal and professional, do the individuals with whom we associate appear more like a "life-saving" net of caring human beings or "energy-draining" spiders, maneuvering to capture and destroy? 

There are, according to my deceased father, only two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. Even though each of us can be either at any given moment, there are, again, according to my Dad, certain clues that tell us that a person is primarily one or the other.

Knowing with whom you are spending your time will determine whether you are "caught in a web" or "saved by the net." Givers provide supportive safety nets. Takers manipulate "gotcha" webs.

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