Communications-Losing It

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As human beings communication and the misunderstandings which frequently occur, through the written word, verbalizing, etc. seems to sets us apart from other life forms on the planet. I recently was staring at some words and thinking about how incredible it is that the shapes (letters) put together actually mean something that many people can understand.  After all when I look at my handwriting it appears to be just scribbles but others can actually make some sense from what I’ve written, on some level, quite strange.

Lack of communicating and/or different styles, misunderstandings, can  lead people who’ve once professed undying love for one another to hate, a breakdown  in relationships,   life-long fear  and  loathing and cause wars and massacres.   At one point I was married for 16 years and then got divorced and now 14+ years later there is really   no/little communication with my former spouse.  Recently some friends decided that their life paths and partnership were going in different directions, they stopped communicating or when they did, they no longer understood what the other was saying, and now they are ready to call it quits.  I communicate with family and good friends, whether through Skype, on the phone or in-person. Suddenly our friendship is tested by how we communicate something because somehow it impacts a person’s ego or maybe their mood was such that they weren’t able to hear.  This can also be as simple as someone saying that they will arrive at a certain time, showing up an hour late and not calling to say that they will be late.  This can also be about what someone thought that they said and what someone else hears.   Different world perspectives regarding  communicating,  especially in  one’s stories  about another,  can lead to a great deal of frustration, sometimes resentment, and other times  generational  hate and  worse. 

Thanks to having  lived overseas  for  five  years I’ve  been  able, at times, to create more space to hear (listen)  what others  are saying. I try to be broad in my thinking and communications   style, really try to listen and understand other’s perspectives, but in some situations it is difficult. 

Communicating, i.e. speaking and really hearing others, interacting in a focused manner, are a difficult proposition due to the many distractions we have in “modern” life.   

I started to learn how to really listen/hear  when I was the  Market Master of the Central  Market  in Lancaster  in the “heart of Pennsylvania Dutch  Country” (Amish)  from  August  2006-October  2007.  Although this  “dream” job  didn’t work out I  learned  the value of looking  someone in the eyes  when they  were  talking to me.  This training ground for living/working overseas was a step towards my current life.  But even in Nepal, specifically in Kathmandu and other major population hubs, life seems to be moving along more quickly, with people listening less.  

We all seem to be in such a rush to move towards something, but we aren’t really sure of what that something is. Maybe this is why I feel so different when I visit a village.   Of course there are the distractions, e.g.  SMS, Facebook, etc. amongst the younger population, but people tend to communicate much more easily and life seems to be a bit slower.  Maybe  I’m romanticizing, but it isn’t only  about the village  fresh air that  I can  breathe, but is also  about the seeming depth  of  relationships  and discussion. 

Between my good friends and me I’ve found a depth of speaking/hearing and I try to be conscious of this, e.g.  shutting my computer if  someone starts talking to me when I’m at my office or  listening  to someone’s  eyes.   I find that no matter how many distractions there are, this kind of conscious, focused communication tends to be much more fulfilling.  If somehow we can slow down and listen/hear others, the world might shift to a place where we all live in a respectful peace.



Position: Lover of Life-Change Agent

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