Nov 29, 2016

The Stories We Tell

With the phenomenon of social media and status updates and cell phones and text messages, it’s no wonder that assumptions fly through the air faster than snowflakes in a winter blizzard.  We interpret our words down to the most miniscule of details, dissecting the meaning behind a statement under a microscope and then further forming an opinion of our own about what was said or not said.

For example, how many times have you been on the receiving end of a text message that was without simple, yet necessary punctuation, especially when that punctuation would have meant the difference between understanding and being entirely confused? 

Enter exhibit A:

That comma is unmistakably important, my friends, wouldn’t you agree?

Nonetheless, we live in a hasty world.  Our minds are too boggled and too laser-focused on our next task that the beauty is no longer in the details.  In addition to this, we know what we intended to say, so why can’t others read between the lines and comprehend our thoughts as well?  

What's most frustrating about this is that we expect others to interpret our intentions, but when they receive them in error, we turn around and fault them for it.  And by construing what someone is trying to say, we end up forming stories in our minds that may not be true.  When this happens, defensiveness and a host of other emotions are thrown into the mix, resulting in mass-confusion. 

Before you know it, distinct lines have been drawn in the sand. 

The stories we tell ourselves are incomplete.  It’s like taking a book, opening it up to the very middle and starting to read the story from that point forward.  It doesn’t work that way.  We need the backstory.  We need the details.  We need the beginning. 

The beginning builds the foundation, which then builds on the truth.  It’s our victory over the unknown.  It destroys the assumptions and erases the lines.
So, my friends, let us seek clarity behind every meaning, and may we remember that the only story we can accurately ours.
But when you do, please, don't forget the punctuation.