Thursday, August 25, 2011

What if I forget?

I’m nervous about falling into the trap looking good, instead of doing good. I worry about forgetting that I came here to learn, not preach. I’m concerned that I might forget what I know in the process of trying to cover-up what I don’t know. I fear that I might say yes, when I mean no. I’m afraid I won’t be able to find the right words, at the right time.

As I fret, I’m consoled by the message on page 620 of the Cross-Talk text where Jacqueline Jones Royster declares, “We need to talk, yes, and to talk back, yes, but when do we listen? How do we listen? How do we demonstrate that we honor and respect the person talking and what that person is saying or what the person might say if we valued someone other than our selves having a turn to speak? How do we translate listening into language and action, into the creation of an appropriate response? How do we really ‘talk back’ rather than talk also? The goal is not, ‘You talk, I talk’. The goal is better practices so that we can exchange perspectives, negotiate meaning, and create understanding with the intent of being in a good position to cooperate, when, like now, cooperation is absolutely necessary.”

I’m also comforted by a sign I saw in the parking lot of a Pittsburg IKEA store that showed a little heart-shaped character with outstretched arms saying, “Don’t worry, you can bring it back!” I’m going to try to remember that if I forget, or make a mistake, I can “bring it back” and choose a better path.



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