Monday, September 12, 2011

Translating

I am often a translator, which is funny, because I only speak the one language, to my dismay (I pretty much flunked French in college, I'd love to learn Gaelic, and I should learn Spanish).  For some people in my life, however, I am the translator between them.  I am the one who grasps the complete message, regardless of how it's phrased, and transmits it to the receiver.  It annoys me to perform this task.

The problem with being the translator, is that when mis-communications happen, it steals my time, my energy and my patience to deal with them.  Poor phrasing, withheld information and a failure to look at things from the other person's perspective are all common problems that make true communication difficult.  It also means that when the parties involved get mad at each other, I'm often in the dog house too.

I often wonder if I am doing anyone any favors by translating.  Am I hindering their growth?  Does my involvement prolong the situation, or do I help them to understand one another?  Is my involvement purely selfish?  I can't ever decide on the answers to these questions, but I do understand that the ability to communicate clearly is one to prize and practice.  It doesn't happen overnight and it is a skill that improves with age.

Communication also involves more than just talking.  Communication requires a willingness to connect with another being; this means you must send and recieve messages.  Communication also needs a willingness to embrace the message sent.  You can hear without listening and respond with thinking, but these both hinder the communication process.  I also think that communicating involves an openness to possibilities.  If you assume the message, you like haven't actually heard anything.  Make it a point each day to try for real communication with your friends, family or even strangers.  Like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger you will become.

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