Friday, May 28, 2010

What you think I said....

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant".

The greatest challenge in relationships of any kind is communication. I believe the reason we can have great difficulties with those closest to us is that we believe we know what they think and what they mean. There is at least a 50/50 chance we are wrong.
I wish I would take the time to ask more before I leap to conclusions and I sure wish people I care about would do the same. It sure is nice to have people close to me who are willing and able to ask. And even nicer when they actually believe me when I say "I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant".

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's it like to be you?

I love the TV segment, often on "Sunday Morning", where the guy throws a dart at a map, goes to the town, then picks a name randomly out of the phone book - that person is interviewed. His premise is that everybody has a story to tell.
As I get to know new people, I have become more and more focused on the question - "What's it like to be you?" What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What makes you angry? How have you arrived at your attitudes and beliefs? What do we have in common? What makes us different?
Everybody does have a story to tell. And maybe if we take a moment to see people - hear people - in a more curious and less judgemental way, we can learn something.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Are you busy enough?

In the last year or so I've gotten out a lot. Concerts, fundraisers, Chamber Mixers, artist events, plays, ground breaking ceremonies, social time with friends.... And I keep seeing the same faces over and over again. They are the ones making things happen. Talk with them and they quickly tell about something positive they are working on.
What they don't do, is talk about other people and boo hoo about life. They don't gossip. They don't talk about things that really are not your business and they don't talk about things that are none of theirs.
I'm certain they have struggles in their lives. I'm certain they have opinions. But their focus is larger than the average. They see a larger community. Their goal is harmony and building toward a greater good. That is what they are busy about.
I'm finally learning that those who are busy about other people's specific lives simply are not busy enough doing anything positive in their own. I listen more carefully these days. If the talk is about what individuals should or shouldn't be doing in their lives - and it really is just personal BS, I don't want to be around them.
I want to be around those focused on building something, not gossip mongering.