Communication

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

William Blake

“The second most deadly instrument of destruction is a loaded gun. The first is the human tongue. The gun merely kills bodies. The tongue kills reputations and oftentimes ruins characters. Each gun works alone; each loaded tongue has hundreds of accomplices. The havoc of the gun is visible at once. The full evil of the tongue lives through all the years beyond what a man might see in his lifetime.”

William George Jordan (1864-1928), writer

What are you communicating to your children? Read this poem:

‘The Little Chap Who Follows Me’

A careful man I ought to be,
For a little fellow follows me;
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he’ll go the self-same way.

I must not madly step aside,
Where pleasure’s paths are smooth and wide,
And join in wine’s red revelry;
A little fellow follows me

I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whatever he sees me do, he tries.
Like me, he says he’s going to be;
That little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine;
The bad in me he must not see,
The little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Through summer sun and winter snow,
That I am building for the years to be;
A little fellow who follows me.

Anon

When communication breaks down imagination takes over!

Talk sweetly. That way, if you end up having to eat your own words they won’t be so bitter to swallow.

There are two types of people who don’t say very much: those who talk a little and those who talk a lot!

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

Peter F. Ducker (management expert and author)

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Communication always works best when you are face to face, because a telephone, email or a written note can never smile.

“The boneless tongue, so small and weak,
Can crush and kill,” declares the Greek,
“The tongue destroys a greater horde,”
The Turk asserts, “than does the sword.”
The Persian proverb wisely saith,
“A lengthy tongue – an early death!”
Or sometimes takes this form instead,
“Do not let your tongue cut off your head.”
“The tongue can speak a word whose speed,”
Say the Chinese, “outstrips the steed.”
The Arab sages said in part,
“The tongue’s great storehouse is the heart.”
From Hebrew was the maxim sprung,
“Thy feet should slip, but ne’er the tongue.”
The sacred writer crowns the whole,
“Who keeps the tongue doth keep his soul.”

James S. Hewitt

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

Proverbs 17:27-28

Imagine two people in a room together. One is trying to whisper a secret to the other. If the room is filled with a loud noise, even though the message is being communicated, the one waiting for the secret information will miss it simply because the room is so noisy he can’t hear it. Unless he is paying close attention, he may not even realise that he is being spoken to. That’s the way it is with communication between God’s Spirit and our spirit. The ways of the Holy Spirit are gentle; most of the time He speaks to us in “a still small voice.” It is therefore vital that we learn to keep ourselves in a condition conducive to hearing.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, 1995, Oklahoma: Harrison House, p.81

“The human mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you get up to speak in public.”

Roscoe Drummond

gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1 NIV

As the bush fire drew closer, two wood pigeons decided in was time make their escape and fly off. “What about me?” said their friend, the toad, “Won’t you help me?” At length, it was agreed that they would carry a stick between their two beaks and that toad would hold onto the stick with his mouth. As they flew high up in the air a fire fighter saw the unusual sight and said aloud, “Wow! I wonder who thought up that trick.”

“I did,” said the toad!

Moral: Sometimes it pays to keep your mouth shut.

Smile and Dial. Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

Smile and treat yourself to a free facelift.

It’s all right to hold a conversation as long as you remember to let go of it once in a while.

Talk is cheap until you hire a lawyer.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

There is nothing quite so infuriating than to have someone continue talking when you are trying to interrupt!

Lord, fill my mouth with all good stuff, and nudge me when I’ve said enough!

The Preacher’s Prayer

Hiding in the tall grass of the African plains, a hungry lion stalked a grazing herd. The lion picked out an old bull, which he then attacked and killed. As the lion feasted on its prey, it would stop every once in a while and let out a mighty roar of triumph. Now it just so happened that there was a hunter nearby who heard the lion roaring so he sneaked up on it and shot the lion dead!

And the moral of this little tale is simply this: When you mouth is full of bull keep it shut! – Anon

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil.

Psalm 141:3-4a

“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can break my heart.”

Robert Fulghum (clergyman and author)

The most important conversations you have all day long and the ones you have with yourself.

When it comes to communication: Women are complex and subtle. Men are simple and direct.

A Communist textbook describes a ‘kiss’ as ‘the approach of two pairs of lips with a reciprocal transmission of microbes and carbon dioxide’. Now, technically speaking that definition is perfectly correct… but you try saying to someone, ‘Let me give you a transmission of microbes and carbon dioxide!’

One of the most complimentary things you can give to another person is your attention.

“Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.”

Ann Landers, U.S. syndicated columnist

An old blind cowboy wanders into an all-girl biker bar by mistake.

He finds his way to a bar stool and orders a shot of Jack Daniels.

After sitting there for a while, he yells to the bartender: “Hey, you want to hear a blonde joke?”

The bar immediately falls absolutely silent.

In a very deep husky voice, the woman next to him says: “Before you tell that joke, Cowboy, I think it’s only fair, given that you are blind, that you should know five things:

  1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.
  2. The bouncer is a blonde girl.
  3. I’m a 6-foot tall, 175-pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate.
  4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weight lifter.
  5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler.

Now think about it seriously, Cowboy, do you really want to tell that blonde joke? The blind cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his head and mutters: “Nope… not if I’m gonna have to explain it 5 times!

“A pregnant silence beats an empty noise any day.”

Tom Morris, author

“Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.”

Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), French general and statesman

“There are times when silence is golden, other times it is just plain yellow.”

Edwin Louis Cole