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You Know What I Mean....
Nobody Ever Really Knows What They're Saying Until Someone Else Hears It

Communicating is not easy, no matter how educated or skilled at it we might be. It's actually a very complex, problematic task for everyone.

To communicate is to be understood. If we are not, we have done nothing but create confusion over what we mean. And that is miscommunication by any definition.

Trouble is, what we understand depends on how we each interpret the words used. And one cannot interpret from any perspective but their own as the history of each of our lives is different, as different as fingerprints and snowflakes. This means there are as many possible interpretations to the words we use as there are people in the world.

Heretofore, for the coherence of civilization, these differences have been dealt with by attempting to get people to adapt to common definitions. This has been the purpose not only of dictionaries, but also of religion, education and law.

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The Long Lost Meaning of the Words We Use

Though we forget in the hustle and bustle of modern life and pop culture, words originated thousands upon thousands of years ago as no more than simple sounds made by simple people to communicate simple things in isolated tribal environments.

At first, only a few vowels and guttural sounds were used. Variations in inflection and tone were also utilized to give these sounds nuance and a sense of timing. But as primitive life slowly evolved, the sounds used became more complicated and took on more meaning for evolving peoples. And slowly over time these sounds developed into crude tribal languages.

This was also the one time in Man's history when words had common meaning.

It was a time when everyone's experience was limited to the insular community of the primitive tribe within which they lived their entire lives, generation after generation. They ate the same foods, did the same labor for the same purpose, spoke the same crude language and heard the same history and stories of life from the same tribal elders. They felt the same joys, the same sorrows. They feared the same things and prayed to the same gods. There was no meaning to words or life except what they knew and shared in common.

The first travelers changed that forever. Those who went beyond the boundaries which restrained others knew things others could not know for themselves.

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The Systematic Destruction of our Ability to Communicate

Once upon a time we all shared something in common that enabled us to transact our affairs as equals. It was our universal use of paper to communicate.

That single, simple method of interacting was accessible and understandable by all but the illiterate, and required nothing more to use than paper and pen. It also provided everyone equal access to the world for the price of a stamp.

But now, all that elegant inexpensive simplicity has been totally replaced by a list of sophisticated new media so long and complex it boggles the mind just to try to read and grasp it, much less tally the price we all are paying for it, and not just in terms of time and money.

This splintering of communication from one medium to an infinite variety is a very serious problem that is having a dramatically negative impact on our lives as people.

Though you are probably very prone to argue that assessment with many undoubtedly valid points, the truth is, by every historical and human measure we now are experiencing a near total breakdown in communication, everywhere, at every level of everything in our lives.

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Truth and the Deadly Disease of Lying

Native Americans tried to tell us about speaking with "forked tongues," but we didn't listen. We should have, because lying has now become a problem of epidemic proportions in our own society today. And it's just as deadly to us and our way of life as lies were to Native Americans.

Our role models are especially guilty of spreading this lethal pandemic. From our Presidents, generals and elected officials to our lawyers, doctors and business leaders; from our athletes, artists and stars to our teachers, ministers and pillars of society, they all lie to us. And we follow them as followers always do into the practice of lying as well, especially when we repeat the lies they've told us to spread as gospel.

The truth is, no one is truthful with anyone anymore. We're not even truthful with ourselves. As a result, no one believes anyone anymore, or anything, not even our laws or our courts much less our consciences.

But truth is the most basic of all human foundations, for without it there can be no trust. And where there is no trust there is only doubt, which then feeds upon itself until all that is left is distrust of the truth itself.

To our political, social and physical minds and bodies, that disbelief of others and ourselves is a deadly communicable disease to which no one is immune.

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The Keys to Communicating Effectively

There is an infinite difference between the question "why didn't you tell me?" and the question "why didn't you tell me the truth?"

Perhaps we didn't tell them because it was none of their business. Perhaps it was a private matter or promise made. Perhaps we didn't want to hurt their feelings. They don't know. We didn't tell them. So it is a question we can discuss and resolve.

But if we told them something that's not true, we willfully chose to lie. We could have said nothing to avoid the truth. But we decided to lie. And now they know. So when they ask us why, we must address the truth.

Once either question is asked, what happens next literally goes sixteen ways to sundown.

So here are sixteen ways to communicate which enable us to not only address both of these questions, but also prevent them from ever being asked.

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More to Come....

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