Sound Bites (bytes) verses True Communication: President George H. W. Bush stated,”If you don’t like black, you’re Un-American!”

Yes, President George H. W. Bush did say that at the cessation of Operation Desert Storm celebration, the context is that just as he was introducing General Colin Powell, President turned to the crowd and uttered that commendation who seemed sanguine by the comment. During Desert Storm indigenous personal were referred to as “Sand Nigger” by insensitive American soldiers , who now use the equally objectionable “Hadjis” or “Ragheads” in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I imagine troops didn’t use the N Word around General Powell.. but soldiers say and crazy things in battle. My point is that for a long time Americans have stopped fully communicating, and began talking in short choppy segmented phrases, and we became indignant and petulant when people don’t understand our unclear comments. LOL (Livid Out Loud)

 

I am the king of ” phrases now and explain them later syndrome”, my Great Excuses are that I get nervous and loose my train of thought. I often want to hurry the conversation along out of fear, boredom, anger, or prejudice; I can become intimidated by the topic or person and feel inadequate to converse, or sometimes I just have the ubiquitous Brain Freeze. When I realize that the people with whom I’m speaking, are staring at me with a painful confused or incredulous look on their face that says, “What in the Hell is he talking about?”, I usually do a quick inventory of my recent diatribe and fill in the gaps. What this has taught me is to have more patience with other speakers, be able to tactfully offer that “I don’t understand the reference to…”, or confess, “You’ve lost me, because I don’t know what happened prior to that”. Sometimes if I ‘m in an unequal relationship, I have to stitch my superiors’ comments into some cohesive structure, or chance the ire of my insensitive boss who would be insulted if I said I needed his clarification. Honesty is the best policy the phrase goes, but discretion and tact are equally if not more important in conversations, but it can be so damn hard to say the words correctly (one of my favorite excuses).

 

So I was having lunch with Chuck Colson after the Watergate Break-in, and I was glad that Mad Dog had brought up the idea, it was not as stiff a setting as when we drank with the Klu Klux Klan.

 

Exchanging Great Excuses for Good Behavior

I sometimes do the “Right Thing” because I reason someone needs my help,or that without my intervention others are helpless, or sadly and incorrectly that; I have a better perspective on others lives ,and therefore a more affective solution to their problems. I also have the opinion that people who complain to me about their miserable circumstances, or ask help in resolving a minor or major problem, actually want my help and skill in resolving their dilemmas. So I have been shocked and disappointed when my supposed helpless victims, turns on me for being inept or insensitive to their needs, or indifferent as though my Herculean efforts were of little or no value. I secretly was expecting or hoping, that these folks would be eternally grateful, showering me with praise and tell the world of my great selfless acts.

I found that others also harbor these self serving attitudes about working with others, from our Federal government down to the pastor and congregation in the local churches, our misguided attitudes towards helping or needing help often do more harm than good.

My solution for me is just Stop It! If I get too analytical or self critical,I am still practicing my egotistical outlook towards others, and not develpoing a true partnership with people. So when I’m tempted to intervene on behalf of others I now ask myself;” Who are you trying to help? (yourself or others), Why are you trying to help?(for selfish or charitable reasons), Do you actually have the Ability to help in this instance ?(are they complaining as part of their ‘processing”, or is this a ploy to sabotage their own forward momentum?).

This is just my meditation on processes I am changing in my interaction with people, I puzzled out that the more I’m helping others, the less time I have to deal with my own problems, and the less necessary time spent on renewing myself for future life challenges.