Friday, September 30, 2011


If we are to be effective citizens, how are we to be able to do that under our present circumstances?

We have discussed the lack of easy access to necessary news to make it possible for us to inform ourselves.  Without an informed electorate our way of life is in danger.  Recently, in an interview with Ted Koppel, a well-known TV newsperson, underlines the danger that the current system in the USA has created for us all.  Our media now provides profits for owners by providing us with what we want to know and see.  Nobody is in the business of providing us with what we need to know.  That leaves the task up to us individually.

Take a few minutes to look at and listen to what Koppel has to say about the situation.  Listening and watching isn’t something we do to make us feel safer or better.  It is something we do to inform ourselves so that we can become part of the solution to this huge problem.



Communication Goals: Live in the community of our choice

As we examine important goals in our lives I think it will become clear that we all want to . . .

1.  Live with the person of our choice.
2.  Live in the community of our choice.
3.  Work at the job of our choice.
4.  Work at the level of our choice.
5.  Work at the pay of our choice.

None of us would like to have some person or agency assign us a place to live.  Instead, what we want to do is live where we want to.  That has the best chance of happening if you are skilled at communication.  In order to live in a community we have know about the place and then have a way to support ourselves in that community.  Once we have selected the community and moved in, changes occur that may or may not suit you.  The one constant in communication is change. 

In order for any community to stay “on course”, those who live there must use their best skills to keep the community on track.  You want the best possible schools for your children, the safest movement of traffic, good clean water, etc. These things don’t just happen.  They are shaped and adopted because of the people who live there.  Since you are going to be one of them, you have responsibilities to make sure that the community succeeds.  Most communities deteriorate because they are allowed to.  The best way to destroy an effective community is to do nothing.

In this case, “doing,” means acquiring information through communication, processing the information and then attempting to apply the result to your community.  Verbal and nonverbal communications are basic to the process.  The larger the community is the greater the need for groups of people to successfully communicate.  When this coalition works there is the best possible chance that you can describe the community as successful.

(Don’t forget that throughout this community improvement process it is critical that you continue to use your communication skills to build your interpersonal relationships.  The need for that process never dies.)

Small changes in a community can drastically change the community.  For example, if those who are very influential to the maintenance of the community move away, the entire process may falter and leave the community in shambles.

Where you live will inevitably affect where you work.  This affect will influence your ability to achieve the “job of your choice.” In addition, your effectiveness in the community of your choice may affect your professional position.  It is nearly impossible to separate your life into non-overlapping units.  Keep in mind, you may be the best person for any job, but if those hiring don’t know you exist you won’t get hired.  The process of informing the world who you are never stops.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Communication Goals: Live with the person of our choice

As we examine important goals in our lives I think it will become clear that we all want to . . .

1. Live with the person of our choice.
2. Live in the community of our choice. 
3. Work at the job of our choice. 
4. Work at the level of our choice. 
5. Work at the pay of our choice. 

As each of us has matured, we have looked around to find someone that we think would be rewarding to live with and that might be willing to live with us. We are looking for someone that we want to do everything with. It turns out, that can be a really tough job. But, it often is the underlying goal that keeps us actively searching. I view this goal as being the number one goal for most of us. We want to, "Live with the person of our choice."

Immediately we have several problems. Some choices are great from a distance and horrible up close. Some think we’re inconsequential and unimportant. Some think we’re just fine and would like to count us as friends for life. The question is, how to let them know who we are and what we want to be. How do we find out what they are “really” like and what they will be in the long run?

Communication helps us find the answers to those questions. Whether the communication is verbal or nonverbal, it is important. If we’re going to deliberately reach our goal, we are going to have to understand as much as possible about communicating. For example, we watch folk to see what kinds of things they spend their time and resources doing in hopes of understanding who they are. We listen to them because we think that they will talk about what is in their mind and what they hope to accomplish in their lifetime. These are important items if the two of you are going to be able live together.

Who we are is often a reflection of those we came from. Knowing the family then can have an impact on your actions. Knowing the culture they represent and your ability to fit into that culture is important. Agreeing on what a man or woman is can make a huge difference. Knowledge, acquired through communication is our only real hope.

Or, we could look at communication this way: everything we do or say allows others to know us. On the other side everything they do or say allows us to know them. So, the question boils down to what do you do and say when trying to make a proper presentation of who you are? You can’t control what they do or say and so it is an unbalanced situation. The best answer to this imbalance is to allow time to pass so you can get a better idea of who they are.

Basic rule: relationships are either growing or shrinking. There is no way to put them on a shelf and have them remain intact. They are improving or falling apart all the time.