Mastering the Message Better Communication – Better Life

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.  It is my personal approach that creates the climate.  It is my daily mood that makes the weather.  I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.  I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.  In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized.  If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.  If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

           ~ GOETHE

As the author of Quotes for Kids, I love quotations and how words can be use to inspire others. As a graduate student studying the field of communication, I am learning about the concept of language and peace and conflict resolution. One of my favorite quotations, (shared above) seems to sum up the most important elements of what the author of the class textbook would describe as “the humanizing nature of language” and how what one says can be considered to be either supportive or harmful. Meaning, what we say and how we say it, is important, and is now considered a measurable and valid topic of study for linguistic researchers.

One of my previous instructors once said: “Just because an email can be sent across the country in seconds that does not mean it should.” Her statement makes me think twice before hitting the send button. It is a reminder of how important it is for all of us to navigate and master our spoken and written messages, and strive to communicate our thoughts in the best possible way. This task is not an easy one, it takes time, and more importantly it plays a vital role in avoiding conflict, and strengthening our personal and professional relationships. The emphasis on being peaceful and kind has been communicated for over 2,000 years, and yet current research suggests that the act of being kind and peaceful seems to be slipping away from our American culture. The last few sentences of Goethe’s writing really resonates with me. The 18th century philosopher Goethe so eloquently yet, firmly asserts:

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized.  If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.  If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

 

Best wishes and be well,

Lisa

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