Do we really say what we mean? Do we really mean what we say?
The music in our speech and our body language carry additional information that is not delivered in the text we speak. Cultural differences might also be the cause of misunderstanding: a joke that may be acceptable and even funny for a teacher to tell in one country, might be considered an insult to the student in another country.
In our global village, we are more and more in touch with people from different parts of the world therefore we have to be much more sensitive and also much more willing to forgive.
Chances are that if we are honest and speak straight forward we will be better understood.
Michel Tournier‘s novel Friday, or, the Other Island, tells Robinson Crusoe’s story from a different angle: Robinson is trying to educate his slave Friday according to the Western tradition. Michel Tournier gives us the story from Friday’s perspective.
Did Robinson really think that winning is not important?
Did he say it because he knew that Friday would probably run faster?
Was his secret dream to be able to really beat Friday?
Was Robinson Crusoe honest with Friday? Was he honest with himself?
I gave a lecture at a high school a few weeks ago and had a wonderful conversation with the students. They asked many questions about the lecture as well as about life as a professional musician. I realized that our school system educates young people so well that in many cases they are afraid even to touch their dream. Instead of expressing their true dreams they make up excuses and tell me why they would probably not come true.
Yes, I know, not all dreams come true, but if we dare to touch them and get to know them well, they will materialize someday and somehow. One day, as we have a dialogue with one of our dreams we might find ourselves thinking “Yea, that is how that dream came true”.
It is not only when we speak to our students that we have to be clear and make sure we say and mean the same thing. It is also very much with ourselves.
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