60 Seconds for Thoughts on Thursday: How Do We Bridge a Language Gap to Understand and Be Understood?
by Diane Wyzga | March 23, 2023 | 60 Seconds, Podcast | 0 comments
Hello to you listening in East Cannington, Australia!
Coming to you from Whidbey Island, Washington this is Stories From Women Who Walk with 60 Seconds for Thoughts on Thursday and your host, Diane Wyzga.
Time out of mind I volunteered with ESL Program teaching English as a second language. I learned that trying to comprehend English is like wrestling an octopus. It is frustratingly difficult to get your arms around the rules, exceptions to the rules, idioms, colloquialisms, and expressions that have become part and parcel of 200+ years of expressing ourselves in many tongues.
All any of us want is to be seen and heard. Imagine what it feels like to be unable to express yourself clearly in a language that is not your first language, your mother tongue. Imagine the sense of shame about not fitting in, not getting the jokes, not understanding or comprehending what is being said or asked of you. Maybe even feeling stupid.
So, what do we do? How do we bridge that gap?
Practical Tip: We might try practicing Right Speech. Not right as in the opposite of wrong but listening deeply and carefully before speaking truthfully, speaking in a nourishing and compassionate way that relieves suffering and brings people back to themselves. Why? Our communication is our continuation.
Not too many days ago I reacted to what I perceived was a written insult. My response was rude and unskillful. I had to make amends to my friend. Here’s a good reminder that all is not lost: “Even those who have a good heart and don’t want to hurt others sometimes allow toxic words to escape from their lips.”
Question: What’s helps you communicate skillfully? To understand and be understood?
More Resources on Right Speech
Thích Nhat Hanh explains that “Right Speech” is a Buddhist term for loving speech, or speech that is nourishing, peaceful, compassionate, and … Compassion, he proposes, is the key to both deep listening and “right speech,” and “the one goal of compassionate communication is to help others suffer less.” Right Speech: from “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching”
Listen on YouTube: The Art of Communicating
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Stories From Women Who Walk Production Team
Podcaster: Diane F Wyzga & Quarter Moon Story Arts
Music: Mer’s Waltz from Crossing the Waters by Steve Schuch & Night Heron Music
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