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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quit & Exit

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The idea of this distinction came to me as I used lots of different software applications.  I noticed that some of them have “Exit” in the File menu, whereas others have “Quit.”  Of course, Internet Explorer now has “Close” - leave it to Microsoft to screw up this chapter in my book, too!

Back to the distinction . . .  Quit has a negative feeling associated to it.  A feeling of loss or of an unachieved goal.  Exit, simply implies a constructive decision to leave, or an inevitable ending.

Did you quit your last job?  That’s the term many people use.  But often, people have made a conscious decision to change their career path.  That’s not quitting.  It’s changing priorities.  So why make ourselves feel bad by saying, “I quit!”

If quitting has a negative connotation, why do we ask people, “When are you going to quit smoking?”  Nobody wants to feel like a quitter.  So we are actually applauding the bad habit with our bad use of vocabulary.  How about, “When are you going to exit this phase of your lifestyle?”

Sometimes people make the opposite error.  They leave a relationship that they couldn’t get to work and say, “I had to leave (exit) that relationship.”  Sometimes, what we mean to say is, “I quit the relationship.  I gave up.”

In England, rather than having “Exit” signs, the signs read, “Way Out.”  Though amusing to some, I think it provides a little bit of insight.  Making an exit is simply finding the way out.  Quitting, however, is forcing a way out.  When we quit, there are lots of ramifications and consequences that we must deal with.  When we exit, usually the transition is fairly smooth.  Moreover, when we quit, we are likely to repeat history and make the same errors or find ourselves in the same situations as the ones we were attempting to escape from.

Norman Vincent Peale said, “It’s always too early to quit.”  And, Tom Stoppard said, “Every exit is an entry somewhere.”  Are you going to quit, or are you going to make an exit?  Whatever you decide, don’t decide just yet - read at least a couple more chapters first.

Let's love the world together...

Danish Ahmed, blind visionary

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