Words are powerful tools. They can be powerful weapons. It grieves me when I see words misused and tossed around in hurtful ways.
“Everyone” knows that communication on the Internet is difficult. We bring our conceived notions and ideas and even our presumptions to the table when we read an email or forum discussion. We cannot hear the tone of the person writing. We cannot see her face. We cannot read his body language. We interpret what we read through the lens of our own knowledge, experience and understanding. And most of the time we get it wrong.
But miscommunication happens just as much in face-to-face contact as well. I don’t know how many arguments, disagreements and fights could have been avoided if my husband and I had stopped to truly hear one another. Even having the body language, facial expressions and vocal tones, we still talk past each other bringing our own baggage to the table.
It grieves me when I see words taken out of context and twisted and held against the speaker. It grieves me when I see two people striving to communicate but neither one hears the other.
I’ve heard it said that we should strive to first understand the other person and then seek to be understood. So many times I fail. So many times I think I am so sure that I know what the other person means that I focus on making sure she knows what I mean.
Lord Have Mercy.