“I don’t have the time or the money to do it!” the woman said.
She was using language to communicate with me, but she was also using it to communicate with herself. Sometimes we forget how our own use of language is more than a means of connecting with others. Do the words we use to communicate with other people have their largest impact within us?
Her words had just registered in my brain and I thought, “I wonder how many times I’ve said the same thing to myself? What other messages have I impacted into my own head? Perhaps it’s time to change the way I use language with others so I can make new impressions within me.”
In today’s world we’re bombarded with messages thousands of times every day. We receive texts, emails, instant messages and phone calls. We listen to music and spoken words on the radio and through our handheld computers. We see billboards and other advertisements almost everywhere we look. There is so much all around us that we’ve conditioned ourselves to filter out a great deal of it so its impact is diminished. In fact, our internal filters instantly discount the validity of it all. We know we’re being “sold” and soon our circle of trust becomes small.
Think of the number of people who you truly trust. Why do you trust them? The answer to this question will vary, but one of the biggest reasons for trust is familiarity — “I know them.” Notice that it’s not because the people in our circle are “experts” in a particular matter. And, no one knows us as well as we know us.
Does that mean we accept our own words as truth because we’re comfortable with the source? Are we our most trusted source? If so, what message should we be delivering?
Buckminster Fuller, a renowned 20th century inventor and visionary, dedicated his life to making the world work for all of humanity by delivering one internal message over and over again. What was Bucky’s principal message?
“What can I do? I’m just a little guy!”
This message didn’t limit him to one field. He worked as a “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist” to solve global problems surrounding housing, transportation, education, energy, ecological destruction, and poverty. Throughout the course of his life, he held 28 patents, authored 28 books and received 47 honorary degrees.
“I don’t have the time or the money to do it!” she said.
It was a message I heard. But, she had also heard it and it made me wonder: “What principal message am I giving to myself?”
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.