October 13, 2008

Lost In Translation

I spent the past four days on an out of town trip with some of my colleagues for a community service project. As a result, I could not access my blog the entire time. It made me realize how much of my social world has been in cyberspace, even though I do still work in the "real" world on a daily basis. Being in close quarters with my colleagues, particularly two of my friends who were my roommates for the trip, made me realize how often I get lost in translation when dealing with the real world.

Conversations with people, for example, was one venue for me to see how lost I get in translation. I think it's because there's no delete or backspace buttons when talking to people...with my laptop, if I say something I regret, it's so easy to erase. Plus reading words does not require one to decode intonation of voices, which often have hidden meanings to it.

Blogging, on the other hand, can be a safe haven to say things I wanna say without worrying what people have to say about it. Also, having to write them down gives me time to think before I speak, thus I get to edit myself as necessary.

I learned three very important things because of this:
1. Think before you speak. While this may not necessarily be my S.O.P., I have to make it a habit so I don't regret things I say as often as I catch myself doing so.
2. Listen and listen well. It dawned on me that even though I do listen to people, I don't always listen well. As a result, I get lost in translation!
3. It's not always about me. :-) I caught myself a lot of the times in conversations with my colleagues turning the tables back to me. Whenever we'd talk about something, I often respond "in my experience", or "for me, I think..." I think I'll reserve that for my blog :-)

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