I did something uncharacteristic. It’s not something I could be jailed for, but it did result in a few scoldings, including from myself. Maybe I was tired, struggling with the holiday season, or supporting someone I love dearly, or just for no reason, I decided to repost a message on facebook. Even though I have been distancing myself from most social media I made a decision to engage in a form of communication I typically ignore. I learned a few lessons, ones I’ve probably already learned but were accentuated from this action.  First, I assumed that people are critical enough thinkers and able to make their own choices. If they did not want to be engaged they would not. I usually read past messages that ask for a specific response with a tinge of guilt involved. I might ask questions about the reason for the posting, to learn the need behind the message. The reposting reminded me of how often people, including me, forget to ask questions, to break through the assumptions and get to the heart of the matter. I also learned that most of the responses included a desire to have more accurate, personal communication. My venture into a communication format I characteristically ignore offered a reflection of how people know me together with their desire to have real communication. Would I prefer to have such significant communication in person? Definitely. I would be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the comments, words, and descriptions people shared. As a result of acting uncharacteristically, I learned about myself through the refection of others. Well, at least how they express their refection of me through a form of communication limited to social media. In this New Year, I might be a bit less characteristic and explore this global world with more gentleness and curiosity and less judgment and resistance.


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