March 3, 2008


Everything in our world today is "instant" from puddings to advertising messages, from communications to opinions, from access to success and from information to results. There seems to be virtue in being the first to speak. We've all watched television sitcoms where conflict is created because of the miscommunication between two characters - one has more information than the other, yet conclusions are drawn and actions taken that result in needless conflict.

I always find it challenging, especially in relationships that are important, to formulate fast replies, unless they are either humorous or sarcastic, in which cases I usually get into trouble. For me, it is much easier to formulate answers in writing because I am forced to think about what I'm saying and then of course, I have the added benefit of a "delete" key. Too bad I don't have a delete switch for my mouth or at least more conversational partners who are willing to wait for an answer.

I'm not advocating a return to the past but there is a certain romance, in addition to truth and accuracy in the written word that allows us to consider the person on the reading end, as much as ourselves. I think this consideration offers the opportunity for more clarity, depth of thought and understanding. The need for speed in communicating has us thinking more about what we are going to say than what we are going to hear. The art of good listening gets lost and with it the possibility of really knowing the person we are with.

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