From The Storyteller
Hello All: Happy New Year. I like to begin 2021 with a demonstration of a word to the wise. Enjoy. Doug
“A wise person hears one word and understands two” is an old Yiddish saying that recently caught my attention. It goes right along with sayings like “There is more than one way to skin a cat” and “One person’s junk is another person’s jewelry”. Which naturally caused me to think about riding in our car with Elaine driving.
Elaine and I have totally different attitudes about driving. She would have no problem driving behind a car going 2 mph below the speed limit while enjoying the ride. I, on the other hand, would be thinking about how to pass the car before we even got up to it. Yes, her style did cause me to experience a mild level of frustration and I would occasionally share my frustration. My days of grumbling continued until that day she reminded me that she had been driving almost 50 years and had always safely arrived at her destination.
Her words carried the obvious primary message, “Don’t worry I’m a safe driver”. I also heard her subtly communicating the message, “Drop it or I will not be happy”. Hear one and understand two – got it. I also recognized in her message, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”, while speed may be my jewelry, it’s not hers.
Which brings me to the art of effective communication. Experts explain effective communication is NOT making yourself understood. Rather it’s the art of NOT being misunderstood. I can say that when it came to my driving comments, I did NOT misunderstand Elaine’s message.
Which naturally caused me to reconsider my passenger riding style. I now spend most of my passenger time enjoying the scenery and our conversations. I can report that because of Elaine’s effective communication skills, trips are much more fun.
Moral: Old sayings often hold great truths.