Friday, November 13, 2015

Tricky Communication

I remember music class in fourth grade
   When we listened to Fiddler on the Roof
   And I was so excited because I'd seen it live
   When we lived in the Philippines.
I tried to describe it to my teacher,
   To tell how it had been acted out,
   And I was confused when he said,
   "They must not have been very good."
I thought then that I hadn't explained well,
   But I've wondered since if
   He hadn't understood because
   He couldn't see that a third-world country
   Could produce something professional.
I don't know. I merely guess.
   Yet I think of the words of a mentor
   Who advised me in later years,
   "You have good ideas, but
   Always be aware of your tone."
In other words,
   Be careful how you say something
   As much as what you say,
   Because words and tone are dangerous tools
   When used carelessly.

Photo by Carolyn C. Givens

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