I was on the bus today, and my friend called me on the phone. I am not very adept at handling phone calls as they happen as I find it hard to switch my attention and multi-task. But I took the call nevertheless. My can't-multi-task mind forgot to be aware of the loudness of having a loud phone conversation on a crowded bus, and someone across the way to me said, very calmly and simply to me near the end of the conversation "Can you get off the phone?" I said "Sure," told my friend I had to go and hung up. No drama, no big deal, just a simple statement of need and fulfillment of need. Why can't all human interactions be like this? So easy, when people just say what they mean, and mean what they say.
I realize that it very well could have not gone that way. I could have misinterpreted his message, he mine. He could have been more aggressive or hostile while giving the message, I could have been defensive while receiving it. But none of that happened. It was the easiest, most simple form of communication ever.
Later that day, I'm sitting in a doctor's office, listening to him tell me "I'm going to be as direct as I can. You need to..." Note to self, if you have to preface something with "I'm going to be as direct as possible" then you're probably not used to being very direct. Finally, this time I was able to hear the message he was trying to give me, but it clearly took several tries (5 by his admission, but five spectacularly unclear attempts) for him to figure out how to be direct enough to just say what he meant so I could understand it .
Let's review here. One has an advanced medical degree and a lot of education. The other, one assumes but doesn't know, has probably received quite a bit less education. (This being Maine, and education levels often correlate to income levels, and rich or well-off people usually do not ride buses in Maine.) But which of those people was able to communicate in a way that took 30 seconds to understand, and which took by his own admission 5 tries before he could get the message across?
Our culture has messed up priorities. All of that money, spent educating people on how to obscure the truth and not say what they mean. *Shakes head* Messed up priorities, if you ask me.
3 hours ago