Countries Are Easier Than People
“Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than someone you know. Why is that?”“Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as they wish us to be”Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Every day I miscommunicate something to someone.
The only time I realize there is a miscommunication is when something bad happens. Almost all conflicts are caused by poor communication.
Countries are easier. When you visit a country, seeing is believing. Here is the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu, Colosseum etc. With people our realities are based on our perception. Depending on our experiences, moods and thoughts each person focuses on different things at the same event.
When I visit a foreign country, I am well aware that people speak a different language than I do. The miscommunications are cute and charming. In America, if I assume that just because I am speaking English and the other person also speaks English that we are both speaking the same language, I am usually wrong. The meaning you give to words come from your environment and your experience with that word. We all have unique life experiences and just because we use the same words, your definition of those words may be very different from my definition. Speaking the same language often interferes with my communication.
I have always believed it’s the thought that counts. As long as my intention is good, that is all that matters. That philosophy works well in foreign countries. I teach English and bring pencils and stickers for poor children. I behave in a respectful way and ask questions about the country. People in foreign countries seem to understand my message. What I am learning is that if friends and family are not open to my ideas, it does not matter how good my intentions are. It matters how well and effectively that I can communicate them. I am a work in progress.
Certain countries fit our personalities better than others. You have to travel to find out where you belong. Some people fit better with me and so I make fewer mistakes with them. I learn from being wrong and sometimes you have to get lost in a place to find your way back.