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On The Value of Communicating Personal Truths

Updated on September 6, 2009

Native American on Expression of Personal Identity, Personal Truths

Among the People, every person possessed a Shield of one kind or another. One of the most important things to understand about these Shields is that they were never intended to give physical protection in battle. They were not made to turn away arrows or bullets, or for people to hide behind....

sometimes they were made from the tough hides of bears or buffalo bulls, but more often they were covered only with the soft skins of deer, antelope, coyote, otter, weasel, or even mice. They were then hung with eagle plumes, cedar pouches, tassels of animal fur, and many other things. They were also painted with various symbolic figures. These signs told who the man was, what he sought to be, and what his loves, fears, and dreams were. Almost everything about him was written there, reflected in the Mirror of his Shield...

These Shields were carried by the men among the People in order that anyone they met might know them.

  • Hyemeyohsts Storm, Seven Arrows

"These Shields were carried.... among the People in order that anyone they met might know them...."    What is the expression of your personal Shield; your identity?
"These Shields were carried.... among the People in order that anyone they met might know them...." What is the expression of your personal Shield; your identity?

The Importance of Understanding The Value of Your Identity

Have you ever paused to consider how you or others manage your identities? Do you consciously work at it or do you just allow it to evolve under the everyday circumstances of your life? What is the nature and appearance of your personal shield and how do you express it?

Can you list eight characteristics which describe you? Some characteristics which you might consider include, your moods or feelings, appearance, social traits, talents, intellectual capacity, strong beliefs, social roles, and physical condition. Can you point to an order of importance which explain the most fundamental impressions that express your nature and what is central to your identity?

I ask because I've once again been thinking about the difficulties we humans have when it comes to communicating. We have a hard time believing in the value of communication or that we can be effective communicators. We no longer have an obvious tradition or method for expressing our personal reflections of individual truths.

And beyond that the reciprocal position of Listener has deteriorated too. Ordinarily a communicator directs his message to either a particular listener or group of listeners in such a way as can be heard by anyone within earshot and decoded by any hearer who knows the code. But what happens when the Listeners no longer have the code? There is no doubt that a communicator fails to express the meanings he intends if he does not gain and hold the attention of his Listener on the ideas he wishes to communicate. How much does his expression of personal identity play in this?

Communication which is truly valuable and effective begins with a communicator's identity. What is it that makes you your Self? Your identity must be able to compel attention and dominate in the consciousness. It must be brilliantly visible in the Listener's mind until it fills the mind. This is true irregardless if the methods of communication which you intend to use is, silent, verbal, or written.

To understand the importance of our identities in communication can you imagine that list of eight characteristics which I asked about? What if you had to communicate without the least item on the list? What would that communication look like? What if you re-imaged this concept with the next up missing too? What if you had to communicate without the very first, most important item on your list? What would that look like and how would it change a Listener's reaction or response to you?

I think you could reinvent a code of expression for our personal truths if it was based on current common analogies in place of a missing symbolic mythology. However it would be impossible to communicate effectively without a thorough awareness of the personal truths which comprise your identity. The attention which your identity commands when it is aware of its own truths enables the Listener to focus amidst the in-numerous potential stimuli that would otherwise make comprehension of your message impossible. With this in mind it is important to understand that our understanding and expression of our own personal truths must always be the starting point for any communication intended.

Books On Communicating

A Few Quotations About Communicating & Understanding Personal Truths:

You have to be willing to look bad in order to get good.Jack Canfield

To know all your neighbors on the global level does not mean that you will automatically love them all; It does not, in and of itself, introduce a reign of peace and brotherhood. But to be potentially in touch with everybody at least makes fighting more uncomfortable. It becomes easier to argue instead.Isaac Asimov, “The Fourth Revolution”.

In order to get at any truth about myself, I must have contact with another person. The other is indispensable to my own existence, as well as to my knowledge about myself. Jean-Paul Sartre

We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are. – Anais Nin

Fie Fie upon her! There's language in her eyes, her cheek, her lip. Nay, here foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out at every joint and motive in her body.William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida.



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