Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Speaking Truth?

Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance", 1841
US essayist & poet (1803 - 1882)

Saying what is true for us on a personal level is one thing, especially if it is only a proclamation to ourselves as the only listener. Speaking to others can become much more complicated and convoluted.

Are we speaking one heart or soul to another; or simply as one distant person to another? Is our intent simply to state our (or our egos) point of view, instigating a mental and/or emotional jousting match, each trying to bloody the other mentally and emotionally?

If the intent is to be understood and we have the insight and desire to understand the other, would we not speak differently to each one we speak with? We each have our own perspectives and meaning to words, ideas and experiences. If we truly speak to someone in this way (with understanding), it may indeed appear, to one standing outside the conversation, that you are totally in contradiction to a previous conversation.

I am reminded of another quote by Steven Covey from Seven Habits, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” (This by-the-way is habit 5, Principles of Empathic Communication.) This is a golden guide to all dealings with others whether words are exchanged or not.

So unless what is about to be said is just trivial tripe, the intent with which we formulate our words should be with understanding of the other person(s) and speaking from this space of perception.

Each person we encounter is so unique, that each conversation on any subject should be just as unique. However the amount of engagement and presence for this level of conversation can be taxing, however, would be otherwise if we are truly present to the moment? After all, is not joy to found in those moments when we are completely and totally in them?

Some thoughts…


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