“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
If you have taken to using the voice options on your phone to dictate texts and emails, you know that the translation is not quite perfect, but so far better than it was just a year ago, that before long, with another generation of voice recognition advancements, and a little user interface improvement, that thumbing our way through typo galore filled messages is about to become a thing of the past. What will this mean for all of us? Good and bad likely. Good in that I have noticed that when I speak a message that my thoughts are more fully formed and the messages tend to be longer. A return to long form communication? Maybe. Bad in that it becomes even easier to blow off steam and say something that is now written that you wish you hadn’t said. We are on record forever now with everything we write, record, photograph, or video. That’s not all bad, but it all has implications. I grew up learning how to write sentences and then how to put those sentences into paragraphs and later, how to put them into full thoughts to achieve a purpose. But, seldom were we taught on how to “communicate”. No one taught in school how to have a productive phone call, or how to discuss something that is difficult over dinner. It may be time to begin thinking about teaching our employees how to communicate, especially as it relates to how to translate our thoughts into messages that are productive, effective and good.
God is so good. The verse above came to me today, after yesterday being in a spat on email about something that was so unimportant, but I had made it more than it needed to be. Consequently, I left a poor impression of myself to people who I don’t really know, who now will carry with them a memory of me that I don’t like. It really isn’t a big deal, but like so many things in life, a little thing can be just as, or more damaging when it comes to words and relationships. How we choose our words, how we deliver them, and the medium that we use, are all choices that we have today. When James wrote the verse above, he never could have imagined that someone might also need to put down their phone and disconnect from the internet to be “slow”. We all need the reminder now and then that we are moving fast and with speed comes danger. I got my reminder this week. May my reminder be your reminder.
Reference: James 1:19 (New Living Translation)