Monday, September 28, 2009

They Don't Have to Speak Your Language!!

Today, I wanted to be one of the Apostles during Pentecost. I wanted to speak and interpret foreign languages! But.......I'm not, and I can't. This proved to make my day complicated and difficult.

Today, I substituted in an ELL Kindergarten where these little buggers no se habla English. Seriously....they kept talking to me in Spanish and figured that I would eventually figure it out! Bless their little hearts, I know enough Spanish to get myself into trouble.........not much more.

Still, we all stumbled through our day. Between hand gestures, drawing pictures, a lot of pointing, and some good interpretation from a few children, we managed authentic communication. It just made for a REALLY long day. partially because they physically exhausted me. However, I was more mentally exhausted from trying to understand and be understood.

This whole process made me realize how much we actually don't communicate with those who are actually close to us. I thought about my husband today. I worked harder to express expectations to thirty little Kinders than I do my husband. We communicate through Post Its, email, texts, and voicemail. Then, we have the audacity to get angry with each other when we misinterpret an intended message. It's like face to face communication went out years ago when technology rolled humanity into this century.

The point being.....communication takes real effort. It takes work to formulate your ideas into language that is received by others correctly and this is only half of the communication equation. An individual still has to listen and interpret information that is sent back your way. Communication takes active participation. Think about it, how often do we really communicate??

It took some adorable five year olds to remind me that real effort on both parties is required to make our needs known. The nifty thing is that I get the opportunity to practice my skills again tomorrow! Now how cool is that? I get to practice authentic communication again.....try's a great way to learn about yourself and those you care about.