Sep 16, 2014

Take My Advice

A poem I wrote a number of years ago. I think the idea I try to present in the poem is still very relevant today and will always be relevant. It is not easy and I do not claim to be perfect at it, but I believe we must all try in our lives to interact with each other in a way that is helpful. A key to having good communication--or at least not having communication where you come off as angry, mean, rude, condescending, intolerant, or something like that--is to always try to step back and understand that the person you are communicating with has lived their life from their own unique perspective which in some ways may be radically different from your own.

It can be very hard to think outside of your own culture. I recently read in a book about God and religion what I thought was a good example of this cultural bias. The author presented the question of why in American thought we consider it negative to believe in a god which might punish people for wrong doing because of our cultural bias, but that in many parts of the world it would seem equally negative to believe in a god which does not punish people for wrong doing. My recounting is not doing it justice I'm sure, but the idea is the same.

Here is my poem called "Take My Advice"

Writing are words that stay,
Speaking is what we say,
Reading is speaking the writing,
And thinking is remembering the reading.

Those words that we so softly speak,
Can be used for hurting or healing.
Hurting like bullets into the being,
Or healing like honey for the heart.

How you use the words you speak,
Is how you teach yourself to think.
If you would have your words to heal,
Then remember that those who hear you speak,
Do not remember what you think.

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