Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Blah, Blah, Blah Blog

Talked to a friend last night...he and his wife have been out of the country celebrating their momentous birthdays for the year -- both of them turning 50. I wished them both a happy day...after much ribbing.

Sat at softball practice last night talking to other parents about our kids and sports and how the girls have remained close friends even though they all go to different schools. We reminisced about how much they have changed over the past years.

Later last night, I tickled my son before he went to bed, and then made that **erk** "farting" noise on his tummy because it makes him laugh hysterically. We giggled and hugged and played and just laughed.

Then sat at the edge of his and my daughter's beds as they said their prayers for the evening. I listened as they talked about the things that are important to them and the things that pluck their heart strings.

Those are the moments that make the world keep turning.

Then I sat in on a live webcast about blogs to learn more about how they can benefit/harm our clients at work and blah, blah, blah, blah...blog. Perhaps I am simply not high-minded enough to get engaged in that conversation, but I continuously found myself drifting off to do real work. To work on a release for a client...to contact a venue for an event...to respond to an email...to make a quick phone call...and I found the whole conversation among blog experts to be incredibly lackluster. Perhaps it is because it attempted to take some of the chemistry out of it.

If I had to characterize the conversation, it was about how companies need to pay attention to the market...well, hmmm, isn't that what they have supposed to be doing for awhile? I know that's a simplistic remark, but many of the things that were said are what I would consider common sense. Among them...1) Don't lie...2) Tell the truth...3) If you make a mistake, admit it...4) Be prepared to answer question about things that you purport to know.

Am I crazy or is that just good common sense for living, much more so for business? And especially in communications.

"Don't lie" and "Tell the truth" on the surface seem to be the same thing, but I think there is a little bit of a difference, if you will humor my delving into semantics.

"Don't lie" has to do with an act of commission. So don't purposely say something that is not true. Example: I go to my doctor and tell him that I had a salad and a grilled chicken breast for dinner last night, when in fact I had neither -- I had a big cheeseburger and fries.

"Tell the truth" can be associated with an act of omission. So don't say a half-truth and let the other person come to a reasonable conclusion that you know is not correct or complete. Example: I go to my doctor and tell him that I had a salad and a grilled chicken breast for dinner last night, when in fact I had both those things AND a big cheeseburger and fries.

Now in the second instance, I didn't lie... but neither did I tell the truth.

Okay, I have digressed. The whole point of this post was to say that so many times we get so incredibly caught up and waste our mental energy in the business world by coming up with these seemingly earthshattering concepts that in reality are things that shouldn't even have to be mentioned...much less be made a central part of a discussion on how to communicate in the public square.

Does anyone else not find it saddening that we really must say not to lie...AND to tell the truth?

So, back to the conversations and incidents that I mentioned at the beginning of the blog. Talking with friends, playing with my kids, and listening to the honest prayers of my children are the conversations that shape our lives. Those are the ones where our hearts are revealed and we experience relationships at their truest forms.

Should a company care about what I have to say? Yep...if they want my business. Should they have to have someone tell them to be honest when communicating on the web? I hope not, but apparently behavior on the blogs thus far warrants that it be mentioned. Apparently there are parallel conversations going on in society. The real ones...that happen between people who love and care about one another. And then a second conversation that is characaterized by deceipt and manipulation.

Must I really say now which conversation I would rather be a part of?

When my kids say their prayers at night, do I have to remind them to be honest? I hope not. But after this web conference today, it certainly makes me want to re examine how I model my prayer life...am I honest? Do I tell the truth? Do I tell the whole truth? Do I mischaracterize things?

I know what you're saying...Blah, blah, blah, blog.


At 5:00 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

You know, Whit, I feel as if I have known you for a long time. We have a strong, and wonderful connection.

You would think that telling the truth is one of those basic premises of life grilled into us from the time we were young children. The oath for testifying, deals with a promise to tell the truth; our parents tell us, you know what will happen if you lie, but somehow, the words seem to mean one thing and the actions another! I am just as puzzled as you are.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Dear Whit,

I just wanted to thank you for all your kind words and thoughts. Since I do not have your email, I wanted to let you know myself!

Last year, our daugther was ill, and it was a very painful time for our family. Today, each good day is a gift and wonderful blessing.

As for my writing: well, I appreciate the compliments. It seems as if I have always been a frustrated writer at heart (and head for that matter.) Now, with this blog, the opportunity is here to write as much as I can. I encourage you to do the same. You have a great mind.


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