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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Words of Thanksgiving

     Oh sigh.  It's that time of year again.  That time to express our gratitude for all that we have.  Whether it's everything we want or not, we are grateful.  We are grateful for family no matter how crazy they are.  We are grateful for the material possessions we have because they bring us convenience and comfort.  We are grateful for our jobs because we are not homeless and hungry even if that job doesn't satisfy us completely or make us rich.  We are grateful for our health because even if we don't feel 100%, we are still breathing and opening our eyes every day.  We are grateful.  Whether you are grateful to God or some other entity you worship (for the record, I am grateful to God only), we take time to reflect on the current state of our lives.
     Since this is a communications blog, we should take time this Thanksgiving to say to God and anyone else we're grateful to that we appreciate them.  Thank your family and friends.  Thank your boss and your coworkers.  Thank anyone who you know has helped you at some point this year.  Let them know that you are not taking them for granted.  Words are powerful ointments for the soul.  You may be a soothing balm to someone who needs to feel appreciated today.  As the hustle and bustle of holiday time starts taking on that crazy life of its own, stop the whiplash movements of the season to say a kind word to someone.  Tell someone that you forgive them for some past wrong.  Ask someone for forgiveness for some past wrong you have committed.  Tell someone you've been trying to connect with for awhile that you are putting that precious time on your calendar right now and mean it.
     In a world filled with hateful, critical, and judgmental speech, take time to re-evaluate how you come across.  Think about how much more inspiring you can be to others, and exercise your ability to be kind through words of encouragement and love.  Happy Thanksgiving and I appreciate you for supporting and reading this blog.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Taunting: It's All Bullying

     The latest communications debacle comes via the poor decisions made by Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito to let his mouth run while his brain stopped.  Apparently, he's done so on a number of occasions, and they have cost him dearly.  I've heard the story about his upbringing and how he, too, was bullied as a child.  Though I'm sure that was a difficult and disheartening experience for him in his elementary school years, it doesn't give him a pass on perpetuating the same hatred he endured.  In fact, I would think anyone who has first-hand knowledge of the pain inflicted on someone's self-esteem when they are taunted, called names, and verbally abused would have the opposite effect.  They wouldn't want to perpetrate the pain; they'd want to eliminate it.
     Being verbally abusive and threatening is unacceptable in any setting.  I don't care if the person is 6'5, 375 lbs., and has an arrest record for battery.  Human beings don't have to denigrate each other to, to...to what?  How do you finish that sentence?  What's the purpose in being loud and angry and threatening and offensive?  I don't see any value in it.  What's the yield?  Making the other person feel bad?  Then what?  So what?  Regardless of the dismissive comments I've heard around this story, bullying is NOT the game of football.  It may be the misguided culture of the profession and/or the League, but it has nothing to do with the game.  If you're an outstanding player, then do all of your talking on the field.  Which, by the way, based on the Miami Dolphins current weak performance record of 4-4, they're not talking, they're stuttering.
     So let's make this personal.  Are you a perpetrator of negative comments?  Consider your words.  Do you taunt?  Taunting is a remark made in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone.  More specifically, the constant badgering of another person about something personal.  It might be about how they look.  It might be about how they perform on the job or some other aspect of what they feel they do well.  It might be within a relationship (i.e. marriage) where one spouse is always demeaning the other.  Snide comments.  Accusations.  Harsh judgments.  Criticisms.  When they become the common language in how you deal with an individual, that's taunting.  It's also harassment.  And at some point, that person is going to get enough of it.  Regardless of what the repercussions are, they will be bad.  And so unnecessary.  Let me chime in with what I'm sure you've probably already heard from that individual--STOP IT ALREADY!!! Back off.  Leave them alone.  Stop being a bully.  It's too revealing on your part.  And what does it reveal?  The breadth of your stupidity and the depth of your insecurities.  They make you look like the real loser at the end of it all.