Friday, February 3, 2012

Do they understand?

You may choose your word like a connoisseur,
And polish it up with art,
But the word that sways, and stirs, and stays,
Is the word that comes from the heart.”
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1906

When we communicate, it’s important to choose words that are understood.

Many years ago I found myself assisting a trainer; I didn’t know what he expected and I was a bit nervous. As he shared, he watched my facial expressions and he said something that was one of the best teaching tools that I continue to use today, and it goes like this …

“It isn’t your job to understand me; it’s my job to communicate to you in a way that you understand.” 

He adjusted his choice of words and I was on my way. My dignity was untouched. 

Bring to mind something special someone said to you … 

Wishing you an amazing day!


  1. Glenda,

    I like your train of thought, however . . . "If I don't know you personally, what you think of me is none of my business" is a rule of thumb that I developed and eventually had no other choice but to adhere to while living within the cloaked environment of prison where peer preasure is a powerful and lucrative tool of corruption and deceit. A moving force with a compelling nature . . . that conforming towards the superficial needs, lifestyles and/or loyalties portrayed by those around you, whether in prison or on the streets, brings oneself outside the realm of comfortability (one's own skin).

    In other words, the quality of a place to make the student (grasshopper) feel perfectly at home or at ease, resides within the ability of the teacher (master) to humble him/herself and not back said grasshopper into a corner --of any measure-- with no other way out but forward. In prison, this is how a coward becomes tough, severly lessening their likelihood of long term survival within the free world. And it is not just fellow convicts that may back you into a corner, but the keeper him/herself may very well cross over to the wrong side of that hard line should s/he smell your fear . . . that which is readily available around every corner, within every heart. Not unlike the masked characters I am having to deal with today firsthand . . . that the hypocrisy hiding behind said mask is not so different, out here, in the free world . . . where *now, I am left with no other choice but to stand my preventive ground in the face of all that matters.

    *(see Paradoxaldighm Fifteen "Last chance for success")

  2. I've read over what I wrote above, and I can see my prison mentality shining through heavily. And then I read your blog "Do they understand?" and I can see that I'm way off track here . . . not that what I wrote doesn't have merit, it's just that I'm in a learning process of communication within a mind that is overly analytical, and that's putting my mind's-eye mildly. Since I cannot edit my first comment, I wish to start over again. I actually find myself writing like this all of the time. I usually don't publish things I cannot edit. I do have some blunders out there!! Please bare with me.

    Communication with other people started becoming important to me around January of 2008. I had served nearly five years of my current sentence clean and sober, yet I was angry and very difficult to communicate with. Other prisoners avoided me . . . literally detouring around me, for fear they would say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and upset me; creating a confrontation that may become physical which was undesireable to say the least. I had already been in several fights, of which I didn't lose; earning me the coveted reputation of being "dangerous". I was a beast of a man with an ugly disposition. I weighed 260 pounds with very little fat. I had been power lifting for nearly five years now. I would spend 4-6 hours every day lifting weights and exercizing. Everyone was scared to death of me and I liked it that way.

    But things were about to change and my life would soon take on whole new meaning, that would not only create positive change within myself, but within the majority those who would eventually begin to surround me.

    Glenda . . . I have the most amazing story to tell, but I need help with communicating it. I'm doing the best that I can on my own, but it doesn't seem to be working, for I am creating unwanted waves in certain peoples lives that connot be brought back. I see these waves as a residual adverse effect of my everyday decision-making process. I seek guidance, for I am about to enter the political world where no one with my criminal history has ever gone before.