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I have been trying to think about what to write about and have actually started three different blog postings. I have deleted all three because I realized that people could take them the wrong way or think I am talking about them when I am talking about other people entirely.

Mostly I have been thinking about how people talk.  At work, people complain about each other instead of just doing their jobs quickly and efficiently. I had a discussion with two people recently and I’m pretty sure that when I walked away, they talked about me behind my back. I know of two people who talk constantly and don’t say anything of importance. I know of incidences where people get upset because of something they think was said when, in fact, they mis-heard what was said.

All of these leads me to think about communication and how it seems to cause more problems than it solves. People talk and talk and talk and most of the communication is completely unnecessary. It can be hurtful, rude, crude or just plain mean.

There was something my dad used to say…”engage brain before engaging mouth”. THINK about things before you say them. Most people don’t. Most people just vomit out any thought that pops in their heads.They spew forth ideas that are based on erroneous beliefs and misconstrued facts. This kind of communication just leads to frustration and resentment by those who are listening to it.

There was a TV show on once called “Northern Exposure”. About a doctor from New York who ends up in Alaska.  He has medical school bills that need to be paid and is working them off being a doctor in a remote small town far removed from his Manhattan roots.

There is an episode in this show where his mother comes to visit. She likes to talk. And talk. And talk. Pretty much non stop. I can’t remember what was said to her but I remember that she has a conversation with the doctor’s office secretary, who was Native American. She told her something about learning so much from the silences. Later the mother goes on a walk and she stops to catch her breath at the top of a small hill and notices the quiet beauty all around her. She stops talking and just stands there appreciating the wonder of creation. Then her foot slips, she falls but a wind catches her and she softly lands on her feet. Doesn’t seem plausible but if you saw the episode, this would make perfect sense. After that, the mother becomes quiet. She starts to listen more than she talks. She realizes everything she has been missing by running her mouth constantly.

This episode of some old TV show really stuck with me. To have the ability to appreciate the silences in life. To be quiet more than talking. To really notice the world around and appreciating it’s quiet beauty.

I wish there was a polite way to tell people to be quiet. To stop and think before yelling. To stop and think before gossiping. To stop and think before just talking constantly. The only thing I can come up with is “Shut Up” but that is rude.

Would it be rude to just go “shhhh”? Probably. But something along those lines. To just let someone know that silence is ok. Not talking is preferable to gabbing non-stop.

Maybe I’ll just try to practice it more. To be still, quiet and calm. Something else to try to do for 2014.

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