Those words from the screenplay of a long-forgotten film or the script of a long-forgotten stage drama have stuck with me for decades. Every now and then we come face-to-face with the fact that what we said is not what we meant or that what we intended is not what was received.
You'd think that after millennia on this planet, having developed the gift of writing and preservation of our language, we humans would be better at communicating. Yet, day after day, it seems like we're all struggling to pass the Kindergarten Board Exams and actually get promoted to first grade--but we fail.
Consider the above: Have you ever been conned by the fire department?
Maybe it's the name of a town in Connecticut. What's the ZIP code for Fire Department, Conn.?
Oh, it's a connection you say? Really? A connection to the fire department?
I thought it was a connection for water. Usually gases or fluids pass through pipes, not whole departments.
How do we communicate love? How do we communicate faithfulness? How do we communicate grace and compassion and empathy and boundaries and standards of acceptability, discipline and justice? Any better than this sign?
Stay tuned as we journey around common and out-of-the-way places around our area reflecting on ways to communicate. Or not.
And don't be conned by the fire department. Or anyone else.