The Sign Test

A long time ago, someone told me that you could tell a good establishment by conducting a simple sign test. If the word “cocktails” was mentioned on the signage, it was supposedly a good place to take a load off. If it simply said “bar,” one should move on. Quickly.

Interestingly, and more often than not, I’ve found this test to be true.

I think the same can be said of people. There are some signs that indicate greatness, and others that indicate mediocrity.

Some signs indicate action, while others indicate complacency.

Some signs indicate happiness, while others indicate ho-humness.

Some signs invite you inside, while others — once you’re there — really have no intention of deliverying. On anything. It was all just a facade.

Alas, some signs aren’t easy to read. They’ve faded over time, they’re broken or flickering, and they don’t read properly. Sometimes just a letter is missing, other times it’s the entire subtext.

Today I am thankful for reading the writing that wasn’t initially obvious to me, but which makes complete sense in retrospect. While the future is sure to provide more difficultly in reading people, it’s nice to know that hindsight is always 20/20 — even if there’s a delay in clarity.

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