I have not written in a while being pre-occupied with the task of going back to school to further my education, some unforeseen health issues and two jobs that were just not helpful. Finally this has passed and it is time for me to resume writing about things I find interesting. During all of this time I have been re-assessing my viewpoints and trying to put things in perspective. There have been a few eye-opening events that have re-enforced what I have always believed and changed others that needed revamping.
There are many times that no matter how hard you try, people just will not understand what you are trying to say or what you are trying to do. This had been a source of frustration and discouragement for me for a long time. Some things that I thought were obvious are not that clear-cut for others because they do not have the same experience, culture or background. This last go round involved several people, institutions, and circumstances where I thought I was being perfectly clear only to find out that wasn’t the case. In a group setting I was not able to have the majority of those involved see what it was that I was doing or saying. No matter how hard I tried it just did not happen. I just plain missed the boat on trying to assimilate my culture with theirs. It was a total fail on my part. I did not recognize that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time – mentally, physically, and spiritually. I really thought they wanted what I wanted and that was just not the case. I assumed too much and you know what happens when you assume. Preparation H and a good spiritual enema are in order. I take full responsibility for this.
Another instance was we just did not see eye to eye. It is a situation where we just needed to agree to disagree. Culture and experience played a major factor.
Difference in culture and experience is the heart of most issues in communication. This should be the launching points that are a part of the individual’s evaluation of how things fit into their world. The unfortunate thing is that many people are chained to the launching pad and are constantly burned by their refusal to move beyond a basic understanding of their world. It becomes a painful repeat experience that they perceive as validation of their limited point of view. It becomes the rallying cry of “see I was right” when pain is inflicted or self-inflicted upon them. Like the premise of the book Who Moved the Cheese or a paraphrase the saying attributed to Albert Einstein on insanity – people will stay in the same position over and over again expecting different results from the same set of circumstances.
This calls for close examination of what you are doing and trying to accomplish. There are times when you are doing the right thing and no matter what you do you are harpooned needlessly. This just calls for you to remove yourself from the situation altogether. There are other times you are doing something wrong and you need to assess the situation and make the needed corrections. It could also be a combination of the two.
What did I learn from all of this? Simple, if you can – choose your audience. In other words target the audience you are seeking. You wouldn’t try to sell cat food in a dog food convention or the proverbial snowball to an Eskimo. In either case they either flat-out don’t want what you are offering or have way too much of it already. This is a sticking point for some things. There are times when you do not have the luxury of choosing your audience but you may be able to adjust the message to fit the situation. An example would be selling cat food in a dog food convention stating that this could help expand their market and bottom line. The other would be to sell a novelty snowball launcher. Either might be difficult but more do-able and potentially profitable for all.
No matter how you look at it – the audience has to be open to the message. If they are then the lines of communication have already been open. They may disagree with what you initially say or do but at least there is an open dialog between the parties involved. Most importantly there is willingness between the two parties to discuss matters for clarification and a better understanding. There are times when you just don’t connect – no matter what you do. It is better to leave before you caused harm or are lynched.
I also learned that it is inevitable to tick people off – even if the audience was handpicked and initially receptive to the message. It may be just the fact of your presence at an inopportune time; you remind them of someone or something that was hurtful or otherwise disagreeable. You may have unknowingly said something inappropriate. You may never really know. They may never tell you. You try the best you can but there are never any guarantees that you will be received well. There is also the possibility that you are just plain obstinate, conceded, and full of yourself – all of which I have been guilty of. No matter what, it is always a time for self-examination and consulting with others to get a better picture. Sometime you can mend bridges and other times you cannot. Continue to grow, push forward and make progress. Retreat is not an option.
So in the course of re-establishing the blog, please understand that I am trying to open dialogues. This is a place of discussion – civilized and godly discussion. This is a place for an exchange of ideas and concepts. If we do disagree – let it be peacefully, with dignity, and consideration for each other. If we cannot find peace – let us part ways until such a time when we can work together.