What are your preferred methods of communication? There are so many options these days. I've had many conversations about this topic. Sometimes, these have been sensitive as a friend and I work out how we use various communication tools differently and share with one another what it might mean to love each other well and as we work to understand each other. Often these have been profitable and beneficial to the relationship. Do you think about how you communicate, what you are trying to communicate and the best tool for that and what the person/people you are communicating with would prefer? Do you text, phone (on mobile or home number?), Facebook message, email, snail mail or speak face-to-face? Do you communicate with those around you your preferences?
I reckon much fruit comes from us thinking these issues through and this is an interesting post around the topic.
"The question is the answer" is a phrase those who know me well are probably used to me saying. Another favourite saying of mine is "live into the questions". One wouldn't be surprised then to find that I loved the poem below as I read it on this blog:
Never kill a question; it is a fragile thing. A good question deserves to live. One doesn’t so much answer it as converse with it, Or, better yet, one lives with it. Great questions are the permanent and blessed guests of the mind. But the greatest questions of all are those which build bridges to the heart, addressing the whole person. No answer should be designed to kill the question. When one is too dogmatic or too sure, one shows disrespect for truth and the question that points toward it. Beyond my answer there is always more, more light waiting to break in, and waves of inexhaustible meaning ready to break against wisdom’s widening shore. Wherever there is a question, LET IT LIVE!
I love observing. There are many things that I have learnt as life skills from having deaf parents, many that have taken years to understand. The skill of observation is one of them. As a deaf person, observation is a crucial life skill. It is a key way that you grasp what is happening in the world around you and having keen observational skills contributes towards the many things that you do not know because you do not hear them. Often observation is also all that you can do, because to really participate is not made possible for you as a deaf person because the people involved will not make the space necessary nor do the actions involved for you to fully participate.
This is the world I grew up in and, despite not being deaf, this is how I learnt to function. I did not need this life skill in the way a deaf person does but I still learnt the skill - it's bread and butter to my parents, how could I not learn it?!
I've thought about this a fair bit over the years, especially when a professional supervisor I had during my Clinical Pastoral Education raised my tendency to observe rather than participate. I now recognise the strengths that this skill brings, and I am aware of how it can hold me back from fully embracing life, from fully participating in the ways that I can, from contributing the many things that I have to contribute. It can be a method of not choosing vulnerability, of self-protection. It can also be a path of contentment, of enjoying observing others, of knowing a positive sense of life in that. Often it also means that I have information that feeds in a life-enhancing way into a project that I'm involved in. Over time I'm learning to accept all of these as part of the picture and to embrace the parts that are life-giving and to choose to not hide and give power to the ways in which it's self-protective and using a life skill that is unnecessary for me as a hearing person.
With this background, I was fascinated by this post by Alison Sampson. Some friends will be aware that I love watching board games. Some of this is about the positive sense of enjoyment I gain from observing, but I wonder how much has been about self-protection. How much has been not wanting to risk, not wanting to throw myself into life? Certainly this has shifted and I reflect that this has been different over recent years but it has me pondering.
Reflecting on this topic also has me pondering the connection this all has to a conversation I had with another friend recently who was sharing her view with me that people are always better for our presence. I wasn't convinced. The conversation was coming from a different place, but I wonder on the connection with this line of thinking. Do I hold back because I do not believe that my contribution is valuable enough? Do I not believe that people will be better off because of my participation and contribution?
During my recent holidays, I read through the 3 books in the Hunger Games series. It's been a while since I was grabbed by a novel series. They were a great read. I'm still pondering many of the themes in the books and wondering what it says about our world that means they have been picked up with such interest. I look forward to watching the movie when it comes out on DVD. Steve Taylor has done an interesting review of the movie which raises many of the themes within this story.