These last few days have been a lesson in communication. My youngest, Javad, was to be admitted to the hospital for some tests to rule out a bone infection. The plan was to admit him on Thursday, have the tests done on Friday and, hopefully, go home on Saturday. All seemed to be on track until noon on Thursday. It seems that our primary care doctor didn't call the hospital to tell them that we were coming. After three or four phone calls, it was decided that he would come on Friday morning instead. I was frustrated, but knew that we could make it work. So this morning came and we arrived, as scheduled, only to be told that, according to their records, we were supposed to be here Thursday. I looked at her dumbfounded. Really, we didn't come on Thursday because they told us NOT to. So very frustrating. We waited for about an hour in the waiting room and finally were taken to our room.

As I have been thinking over these events, I was thinking how important communication is. We intrinsically know that being able to effectively communicate is important, but I am not sure we think about the effects of a lack of communication can have on others.

Similar to a game of telephone, sometimes when we tell others information, that information gets distorted and changed until it's almost unrecognizable. Being clear is imperative. If there is any room for the message to be misinterpreted, it will be. If we value our own message, we must take special care to make sure that it is received as we want it to be. If we are sloppy, we can never know how the reception could be and it could have unexpected consequences.

If you are sending the message without delivering it personally, there are other ways for it to get misinterpreted...tone and inflection are lost in our world of emails and text messages. How many times have we intended to say one thing and have it completely misread and taken as another. Then we have to clarify, mollify, apologize.

My son, Javad, doesn't talk at all, so communication with him is completely non-verbal and his use of body language. He has the ability to use a speech program on a computer, but doesn't use it at home. This has always been his way. We are able to get along because we know him, we know every movement, every inflection of his moves. Many would go crazy with someone who doesn't talk, but we must remember that talking isn't the only way we communicate.

Communication with others involves the whole self...words, body, tone. Some joke that you can fool a dog by insulting it but speak using a loving tone. People are not the same. We are wrapped up in all parts of communicating. We watch the body language, listen to the tone and inflection, then listen to the words. "Sticks and Stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is the most untrue saying ever. Words (and gestures) can be the most painful. We, as humans, have so many ways to hurt, confuse, irritate others. We have the whole gamut, words, tone, and gestures. We must be mindful.

My situation of today was an example of how words (or lack of them) can confuse a situation. No calls were made, thus people were not informed of our impending arrival. On the scale of things this was a very minor event. We are here, the tests were done, we are going home. An inconvenience of time is all that was paid. On the other hand, the misuse of words can be devastating to others. When something leaves your mouth, it cannot be taken back. There is no 'unsend' when verbal language is involved and often, "I'm sorry," doesn't take the pain away.

There is no situation in life where one can say, they were "just words." They are so much more...words are a gift, a curse, a heart warmer, a slap. Words can be far more painful than any physical injury because they go straight to the heart and the soul. Words have the power to injure or lift up. How do you want to be thought of with the use of your words? I would like to think (although I know it is not always true) that I try not to use words as a weapon, but rather words as conveyors of powerful information. I always have to watch my tone, but through my words I want to lift up and honor others.

Communication is a gift and we must use it honorably. Words are powerful and must be used appropriately. We are higher beings which gives us the power of language and communication. This power can be far reaching with the ability to change or destroy life. Words are not just letters put together in a pattern, but rather the essence of what makes us, as humans, special.

Each one of has a Super Power and that power is the use of words...


Popular posts from this blog

Just Stop....


Who knew? Lessons from the last year..