So today is Day 6 of the Nablopomo 2015 Writing challenge. I was beginning to think I had a bit of writers block as today’s prompt “What was your biggest fear as a child? Do you still have it today? If it went away, when did your feelings changes?” just kept mulling over and over in my head. Sure I had thoughts about some of the things I feared as a child. The monsters that lived under my bed at night time. The Boogeyman in the cupboard. Losing one of your parents. I don’t think these fears go away really, I think you grow up and they take on other forms.
Sure enough, the Monster under your bed becomes that voice in your head that either talks you into trouble, or talks you out of taking risks for fear of stepping into something new and exciting or something potentially disastrous. The Boogeyman in the closet may have also grown up with you and perhaps is that fear of failure that lurks waiting behind every decision you take or don’t take. But his there none the less.
The “fear of losing a parent”. Well that cannot be avoided. A year later and I still don’t know what to say when people ask me “How are you?” in relation to my Father’s passing. I honestly don’t know. On a rational level I think I am OK. But I leave room wide open for the possibility of some sort of meltdown. So I acknowledge the possible monster that might be under my bed in relation to this, but I think I am OK. I also don’t know what the appropriate response would be. There are not right or wrong answers and I think that grief really is a personal journey or process. There are no prescribed timelines or milestones. Each person goes through their own process and in their own way.
The Boogeyman that exists for me today is miscommunication. Sounds like a simple thing but its something that really plagues me. Especially more so in this age of having every conceivable type of communication tool or platform at our disposal and yet there is probably less real communication happening among humans or humans to other species.
On an extrinsic level, social media allows for people to immediately interpret something a particular way and then immediately react to it. Brands (both corporate and personal ones) need to ensure that they actually measure each word they put out there. Words do have power.
Personally, on an intrinsic level, my biggest philosophy I try to follow in terms of communication is not to repeat things I hear. As usually in my repetition of the story, my own nuancing thereof changes the original communicators intention. Its a part of our human condition when we retell something that we hear, sometimes even if repeated verbatim, we nuance it differently through body language, or emphasising key words differently. Sometimes the original communicator just expressed something in that moment. Never intending for it to have life beyond that moment. And through repeating what was said. The communication takes on a life of its own and the original intention behind it becomes something else.
So my challenge, to myself, and anyone reading. Before you repeat something you heard, or that you have been told. Think about the impact of those words and how they will continue to live through you repeating them. But more importantly, ask yourself, why am I repeating this story? Does it add value? How will it continue to live after the words leave my being and what are the consequences of my actions?