George Bernard Shaw said “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Sometimes I should write much longer. Sometimes shorter.
Sometimes, perhaps not at all.
Not in my opinion, but in the opinion of others.
I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, challenging me or commenting that I am off-base, off-balance or off-my-nut …
I encourage it.
When I mess up, I’ll usually admit it.
This morning I’m not off-my anything …
I’m concerned, just a little, about my grip on one aspect of reality.
It’s all connected to what I wrote yesterday(I thought it was good, thoughtful and had a point to make) but the response/reaction of one reader has me concerned that I may have:
been sour, negative or bleak in some unintended way
have offended someone (and possibly others)
completely failed to communicate my message
all of the above
none of the above
So, what’s the big deal?
I write a daily column and if readers don’t like it some days they can just, as my friend Annie from New Jersey says ‘build a bridge, and get over it’.
Every day – when I write, yell, spew, lament … depending upon my mood, my mind, my mindfulness.
No desire to hit anyone, hurt anyone or discourage anyone.
If I diverge from speaking my truth, it is in efforts to be encouraging to anyone, everyone and sometimes to just one someone.
Yesterday was one of those days where I have to simply say, “huh?”.
I don’t get it.
I don’t. I didn’t. I’ve re-thought and re-read. Still, I don’t get the disconnect or misconnect – other than to acknowledge it happened. If I hurt anyone, oops … sorry.
Here is what happened: I wrote yesterday, from a perspective of optimism and happiness. Someone wrote to me suggesting I was bleak and depressing with these words: “that’s depressing”.
I replied with: “Really? I was of the view - the optimistic one, that no matter how tough things are, how little time or resources we all have - that we are all capable of incredible things. Do you disagree?”
He replied, “Depressed the heck out of me”.
This wasn’t an out-of-the-blue (or black) comment from some bitter fruitcake in wilds of Wales’ angst-ridden attitude – it was someone local, decent, familiar and real, male, well regarded and (from previous communications) someone I might see aye-to-aye with. Not so yesterday.
Really? Was he having a bad day? Was I?
Even with a well set-out context, can anyone writing or speaking expect another to understand what they meant, what they were really attempting to communicate?
For the record, for my respondent, for anyone else who thought I was writing dark thoughts from a dark place – consider this not a retraction, but an illumination.
I am happy. I am expectant of fantastic things ahead. I think we all can be, should be and are capable of great things – if we take the leap of faith to believe in ourselves. Especially when nobody else does.
We live in the trappings of those things/ideas/conventions/expectations – what we think everyone expects of us. I advocate for breaking free from those shackles to do things, take actions, pursue dreams and leaps over metaphoric cliffs by risking to dream, to desire, to change and to help others while helping ourselves. We can do these things and I don’t care how anyone might characterize it, that’s what I believe and what I am trying to do every day.
I advocate that we can all do these things. I believe we should. I believe that is where the joy and value of life resides. How robustly we live it – that’s up to each of us. Then we die.
I’ll postpone that inevitability as long as possible and avoid it if I can …
Mr. Shaw was write.
column written/ published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: -21C(wind chill -31C)/-5F, chilly dark with prospects of warming for a few days seems bizarre. Gusta is adjusting to walking with me rather than frolicking with kennel pals and our routine routes …
To MLD from Memphis, TN... 'Home' is within you. Home to every thought and action. The natural expression of 'home' is taking cares away from others and doing good in the world. Wake up 'at home' serving yourself every day and be of good service to people everywhere you walk. Friends and 'family' you seek, see through artificial good looks and get to your real makeup. 'Be real' happy in service. JF, Calgary, AB