Sorry to use the word “urine” in a dignified public blog like this, but bear with me. I’m writing about invisible ink.
Read Between the Lines
The practice of writing secret messages in plain view began more than 2,000 years ago when Roman spies used all types of organic fluids (including vinegar, milk, sweat, saliva, onion juice, and urine) to covertly convey information across enemy lines. You might remember, as a kid, using lemon juice on a piece of paper or parchment, writing your secret message, and after it dried, hovering it over a flame until the message appeared. In ancient times, the messages were often written between the lines of legible, but banal, text in official documents. You’ve heard the phrase, “read between the lines.” That’s where it comes from.
Turn Up the Heat
Of course, the secret messages appear only when heated. Fire, light bulbs, irons, or perhaps ultraviolet light. The organic “ink” turns brown faster than the rest of the paper because it has a lower burn temperature. So here’s my “not so secret” message: People who care bring enough heat, and they read between the lines.
In my company, GiANT Worldwide, we talk a lot about becoming liberating leaders worth following. We use a “Support Challenge Matrix” to show that the most loving (liberating) thing we can do for another human being is to bring them high support…and high challenge.
It means that sometimes what we do as coaches, or friends, or caring people is to turn up the heat so otherwise unseen messages have a chance to appear. There could be more going on than at first meets the eye, and there could be so much more to gain. We don’t settle for what is immediately seen. And when new realities become visible, we read between the lines to clearly understand them and point them out to those who need to know.