Post # 369 UNDELIVERED MESSAGES

We will shamelessly confess, that our declarations as to what we have termed, man’s “private, lifelong conversation with himself,” appears as an instrumental theme running through a noticeably, great number of our approximately 400 blogposts. One’s privately recollected evaluation of the past history of his personal responses to life’s varied stimuli, eventuates into a fixed and stable self- identity, and as well a realistic understanding of one’s public persona. Our privately accumulated, and constructed, sense of honor and propriety, our degree of happiness, our feelings of success or failure, and our potential for true empathy [as we have consistently declared] are all internally generated, by our individual self-image, and our perceived role in life’s theatrical production. We have noted, however, the observed reservation, that the self-image, to some degree, may be tempered by an evident, uniform perception by other members of society. It has been our long-standing, and frequently stated, belief that, our personal morality, our sense of justice and fairness, as well as the nature of our acts, are principally dependent upon that privately held, self-image.

The most elemental and dynamic ingredient in the infrastructure of all human society, is the phenomenon of interpersonal interaction, viz., overtly expressed, public thoughts and action. In the private conversations with ourselves, thoughts, accurate or inaccurate, may well exist, as we think or presume to see them. By contrast, in interactive communication, messages are conveyed, only to the extent that they are actually spoken; in the employment of the naturally accepted meaning of the chosen words, and accordingly, heard as such. The mere intention to convey a message, is of little consequence, contrasted with the words actually employed, in the subject conversation. Subsequent disagreement, predictably, will occur when a speaker accurately recalls his prior intention, but erroneously remembers his words.

To possess utility, interactive communication requires the careful consideration of the specific words used. This is eternally so, based upon the mandatorily necessary assumption, that a person’s intention is reflected in his chosen words. This fundamental assumption inarguably, is at the basis of all rational communication. Accordingly, effective conversation, can only take place, when speakers specifically employ those words which accurately represent the particular thoughts they intend to convey. It may be a useful practice, in matters of especial moment, to consider, in advance, the specific content of one’s intended statements.

A frequent instance of undelivered messages is additionally incurred, when each of the parties to a conversation, does, in fact, concentrate upon the thoughts he wishes to convey, but does so, to the exclusion of the statements of other party. When there are two parties, each, respectively, laser focused on his own personal, thoughts, to the mutual exclusion of the statements of the other party, there is no conversation.  We offer the following, fictional illustration:

JACK: Say, Jill, you have no idea how big the fire in the school was last Thursday.

JILL: We had a kitchen fire last month.

JACK: Unfortunately, two firefighters were seriously injured.

JILL: My kitchen will never be the same.

JACK: We were advised that one of the injured firefighter is in critical condition.

JILL: They think it was started by the defective wiring of our toaster.

JACK: Oh! I have to go now, see you.

JILL: Me too.

JACK: Goodbye, good talk.

JILL: See you, yes, good talk.

Authentic awareness of the other party, is inarguably, mandatory in any rational conversation; such essentially basic requirement, nevertheless, is often ignored, and so, many messages, sadly, go undelivered.

-p.

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Literature Student and enthusiast.

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