Did You Really Mean That?

When you speak with someone face-to-face you get the full message. You hear the words.  You see their body language and facial expressions.  You can hear the tone in their voice.  That’s not the case with written communication.  All you get then is words on a page or screen.

That’s why written communication can sometimes come across wrong… or not as you had intended.  I was reminded of this yesterday.

Friday afternoons are the busiest, most stressful time of my week.  I was missing a file so I emailed the person who I knew had it.  The response I got back kind of ticked me off at first.

All it said was, “It’s in the email I sent yesterday”.

The way my mind at the time read it was, “Duh, you idiot!  It’s in the email I sent yesterday.  Quit bothering me and check before you email me next time!

I have no way of knowing if that’s really how they meant it but in mind they could of prevented me thinking they were rude by responding with something like, “You must not have noticed but it’s in the email I sent yesterday.  Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll be happy to send it again.  Have a great weekend.

While not necessary, the second response definitely would have come across as more polite.

Looking back on it now the email came across short and rude to me because I was really stressed out and running behind. The fact I was silently calling myself an idiot for not realizing I already had the file didn’t help either.

This example, while trivial, has reminded me of the importance of reading back texts or emails before I send them to make sure the message I really want to get across is clear.

It’s also a reminder for me to re-read messages I get and give the sender the benefit of the doubt… and not assume they meant to be rude.

As society shifts away from verbal communication to more text based communication it’s important to realize that misinterpretations can happen.  No facial expressions, body language, or tone of voice leaves you with just words.

Have you ever read a text or email the wrong way?

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Middle School Music – A Guest Blog From My Daughter

My oldest daughter asked if she could write another guest blog post. Her first one went over well so I was happy to let her contribute again.  Here are her thoughts on the musical opportunities she’s had so far in Middle School:

This school year has been one of the best because I have had the chance to participate in multiple honor bands, honor choirs and music concerts. I have been given many opportunities that have helped me learn and grow not only in music, but in important skills that will help me later in life. There are two teachers who have given me opportunities and they deserve to be thanked.

I started middle school this year and I have had opportunities that changed me. This year my music teachers have been the most amazing, supportive, and inspiring people. My band director gave me the chance to be part of two different honor bands. My choir director gave me the opportunity to participate in an honor choir.

I also want to thank both of them for leading four concerts at school. They have taught me so much about music and made it a lot of fun too!

As I mentioned earlier they have taught me many life lessons. By giving me the opportunities to participate in honor band/choir they taught me how hard work pays off. They also helped me figure out “practice does make perfect”. I also learned to stick with it no matter how hard things get.

This is how my music teachers have impacted my life as a singer, a clarinet player, and a person. Did you have a teacher who impacted you in middle school? How did that teacher impact you? If you had the chance to thank them what would you say?

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Week 14 Verse – Proverbs 28:26

Since April 1st, also known as April Fools Day, was yesterday I decided to find a verse for this week with the word “fool” in it.  I knew there were a couple but a quick internet search revealed close to 100!

As I read through the list one caught my eye.  It’s Proverbs 28:26(MSG) which reads:

If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
    real survivors learn wisdom from others.

I really like the book of Proverbs.  The verses practical, easy to read, and easy to understand… especially if you read from The Message.

This verse is a good reminder for the “control freak” that I can often be.  It’s a reminder that I’m not always right and if I can set aside “what it is that I think I know” and listen to others I could end up learning much more in the end.

It’s not always easy for me but definitely something to work on.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse that mentions “fools or foolishness”?  Leave a comment.  I’d love to read it.

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