A TIME FOR TRUTH
Have you watched any of the Republican and Democrat presidential candidate debates? Did you find them interesting? Were they helpful? Which candidates communicated effectively and which ones made your mind wander? Were the ideas presented clear or were you more confused when they finished?
Politicians are famous for hyper- cautious and even twisted speech. The purpose often seems to avoid words that could actually create accountability.
In a recent Democrat candidate debate on CBS, Hilary Clinton was confronted with a simple yes or no question. Following her lengthy and obscure response the moderator reminded her that she had not answered the question. She paused then gave another lengthy and obscure response that had no obvious relationship to the original question. This is typical of many politicians in both parties.
Would this approach work for you in your job? Would your husband or wife appreciate your comments if you detoured away from what they asked EVERY TIME? What would happen to your professional and personal relationships if you consistently responded like a “politician?”
A great society (or a great anything) is built on honest and straight-forward communication. You show respect by what you say to someone else.
Let me suggest three simple ways to improve your communication.
1.Tell the truth.
This does not mean that you should recklessly say everything to anybody. There are moments when it is better to “keep your mouth shut” and not venture into dangerous territory. Sometimes it is better to be polite and say “nothing” because “something” would be needlessly harmful. The ancient wisdom literature of the Bible says in Proverbs 2:11, “Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you.”
But when you choose to speak, tell the truth. Tell the truth every time.
2. Be clear and simple.
I met a man once who tried to explain to me a scientific idea. He presented the concept so clearly I grasped it immediately although I had no background in the field that spawned the idea. When I complimented him he said he had worked to create an explanation so simple it could be expressed as a slogan on a T shirt.
Be inspired to do the same thing with all your communications. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Do your “homework.” Much of what is presented to the public as irrefutable fact is actually uninformed and emotional opinion disguised as accuracy.
In the democrat debate I referred to earlier, Bernie Sanders replied to a question by making an emphatic assertion based, he said, on research he “was personally familiar” with. The magic word “research” masked the fact that he actually had no real evidence for his position.
You must make a daily decision to be accurately informed. Check sources for yourself. Do your own research. You are a citizen with the privilege of a vote. You are an honored member of a free society. Honor that citizenship with your commitment to the truth. If enough of us insist on the facts we will be more likely to get the facts.
I was once in a New York City cab in midtown Manhattan. Rick Santorum was being interviewed on a local radio show and the cab driver interrupted with negative comments about Senator Santorum. The driver said that Santorum wanted to make all forms of birth control illegal for women. He said Santorum had to be stopped.
It happened that I had met Santorum and personally heard his comments about birth control. The taxi driver was dead wrong but he raged as if he was right. When I politely pointed out his mistake he insisted that he was right because he “had heard it somewhere.” My direct experience with Santorum’s remarks meant nothing to him.
This type of individual is easily controlled. His mind is ripe for manipulation. When he voted, his vote was based on a lie. This cannot be good for America.
Clear and honest communication is foundational to a free society. Let us never forget that. Let your mind rule your emotions so deceptive people don’t rule our society.