Category Archives: hardships

Communication breakdown

Another day
Photo by: Marshall Astor

Do you get up each day wondering how you will make it through another day of repeating the same steps you repeated the day before?

Did you drop into bed the night before wondering why something just doesn’t seem to be “clicking into place” or that certain moment isn’t happening in your life?

Your “moment” may be different from someone else’s and what may seem repetitive to you may not to someone else but what is lacking more and more in society today is genuine interaction, conversation, listening, being heard and that feedback from someone on a level that is not only listening but being heard and really being tuned into to what is being said.

Genuine interaction with friends
Photo by: Philm

No, this is not an ad for Match.com but our society is changing everyday and with those changes come many benefits but also struggles if there isn’t the ability to adapt. However, is there always a way to adapt an entire society to an ongoing cycle of change?

Let’s look at one part, communication.

How many ways could one communicate 40 years ago?

Write a letter, make a phone call, telegram, or face to face pretty much.

"Old fashion" ways of staying in touch still do exist....
Photo by Muffet

Many people knew people in their neighborhoods, communities, schools, families and kept more in touch with the people around them on a more personal level.

Today, we have grown in the ability to have a much larger number of ways to stay in contact, at anytime, with nearly anyone, all over the world, even meet complete strangers.

We have the Internet which has given us numerous social medias like FaceBook, Twitter, Tagged, messaging, email, live chat, Skype, multiple online dating services, and countless ways which I am not intentionally leaving out. The fact is, the ability to communicate via the Internet is huge!

We have cellphones which allow us the ability to receive and make calls from anywhere and to anywhere which, even if it may seem rude, could mean a quiet movie theater, the bathroom, or in the middle of “nowhere” (can you hear me now?).

Contact ability goes everywhere we go....
Photo by: Anthony Quintano

Plus, with cell phones, there is texting…lots of texting! I’m not so sure if that counts as “communicating” but there are words being exchanged…so I am including it here.

It almost seems old fashion to mention the fact someone can send a Fax but it is a way to communicate….

So, here comes another point. It seems today there is less actual communication. There is far less listening and the ability to communicate and reason a point seems to be going down the drain.

Relationships are being built on the Internet, carried out through texting, and more of what was once built face to face is lost. That emotional connection, expression is becoming more of a lost part in our society.

Again, I’m not just talking about dating relationships. I mean real relationships with friends, family, people with similar experiences.

How well do you really know those you are “in touch” with?

How well do you know your neighbors, schoolmates, coworkers, distant family? Do you just keep up with their FaceBook, Blog or text here and there? Do you ask them questions?

Most of us have become very accustomed to today’s way of life. It’s easier and more suited to our busy schedules.

Our kids have the same way of life. Seriously, we text each other in the house (I have!)

But, we can’t let go of the need to sit down face to face and communicate, really let things go for a while. Ask people how they are doing and about their goals or what they are facing.

Discuss issues at work or social events
Photo by: Gelatobaby

People right next door or at our job may be facing hunger, a death in the family, domestic violence, loss of their home, divorce or a crisis but without asking or showing concern, the day may pass by, a week or a month and just the same, “I’m fine” until one day, they just aren’t at work.

In our country, we are facing some of the toughest times ever. This is not the time to say, “It’ll pass,” and just leave everything up to our leaders in Washington.

These problems started a long time ago. It is not a party problem or a political problem. This is a communication problem.

As many of us have lost close contact with those in our workplaces, schools, communities and even our own families and may not be listening to what is always being said, these leaders aren’t listening either. How can they be making sound and solid decisions without hearing what their constituents, the voters are really calling for, asking for and needing? This is causing consequences for everyone and needs to be understood and addressed. Each person taking responsibility for their own actions and what they have been given the opportunity and trust to uphold.

Here’s an example. As an adult, you have a choice of whether to go to work or not. You can choose to never go. There will most likely be very strong consequences for you choosing not to go and they will probably go into effect pretty quickly.

However, when an elected official in Washington has a job to get done and keeps procrastinating and all of America is on pins and needles, it is okay for them to put it on hold, bicker back and forth like babies and continuously act as though they can’t decide on whether it is more appropriate to help keep funding for those who need it or those who can afford to give up some breaks?

Either way, no matter what, their job isn’t on the line, their pay isn’t on the line, the health care isn’t on the line and their homes aren’t up for foreclosure.

Do they talk face to face to the people who are going through these things or do they just go by reports being fed to them by those working for them? Have they lost the ability to listen or be genuinely immersed in a conversation and have that desire to do something that matters or is it just more important to win?

Washington shouldn’t be about winning. It was supposed to be about representing but you can’t do that if you can’t listen to those you represent.

Instead of just using the phrase, “What the American people want,” maybe it would be to everyone’s benefit to find that out again by actually learning to communicate the old fashion way.

Talks, talks and more talks but who are the discussions about and who are they listening to? How long is this acceptable?

See people for their likenesses and not for their differences

Amazing people are found everywhere across America. When given the opportunity to tell their stories or share their hopes and dreams there are more likenesses than differences in their stories. The fact is life has become too busy, so much going on and just not enough time or effort put into to get to know others and really see truly who these other people are and what they are about, who they are and get to know their families.

During the fall of Wall Street and the markets crashing, when so many people didn’t know what would be happening to their jobs, the fears were the same for the people making $40,000 a year as those making $75,000 to $300,000 and more. Would they keep their jobs or suddenly lose everything they had worked so hard for due to no fault of their own? It didn’t matter what type of job a person had, years of experience, college degrees, a CEO or the boss of 500 people, no promises of a person’s job safety.

When so many homes were going up for foreclosure, many of those homes had been owned for many years. A lot of homes were new purchases, many had mortgages nearly paid off. Some worth $80,000, $200,000, $500.000, and right on up over a million dollars. Movie stars couldn’t afford to keep their homes. Financial hardship does not discriminate. When it hits nationwide as it did, it is even worse because there is nobody to lend a helping hand.

Yes, people were living above their means, well above in many cases. Many people had been living from paycheck to paycheck. Many two income houses suddenly turned into one income and then a part time income. But this can happen even without a financial crash of our Nation. This happens every single day across America.

Nearly any family at any time can get hit in the same way with a tragic medical diagnosis. Even if you have insurance, if someone in your family is struck with a chronic medical illness, especially if that person is the main income in the family and the person who holds the medical benefits. The financial situation will suddenly take a drastic turn if the medical situation remains ongoing causing a long term absence from work, long term hospital care, recovery, uncovered expenses, trial medications or travel for treatments unavailable in the local area.

Thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act signed in by President Bill Clinton in 1993, an employer cannot take a person’s job due to the necessity of absence in these conditions but pay is not required nor is covering the cost of health insurance premiums.

Understanding others and what they may be facing, how they have gotten into the situation they may be in or asking sometimes if they are okay may make a world of difference, literally. Understanding those around the community is a start to understanding the gaps in fixing many of the things that are in need of bringing communities back together.

Understanding families and their children will help our society to know how to work with the educational system and when a community works together for its children, success quickly begins to show. One thing parents typically agree on is the best for their children. It starts with understanding more of where the children are coming from and that requires working together, everyone in every walk of their life.

See people for their likenesses and not for their differences.

Bridge the gap.

You may view this article on the Examiner.com page where the entire article is posted. Become a subscriber when new articles are released.