by Gary Fearon, Creative Director, Southern Writers Magazine
Don't worry, this isn't a three-month late Christmas post. But "Do You Hear What I Hear" is a fitting theme song for something I and a few writers were reminded of this weekend.
Spotting this, our friend rushed to the scene and kicked the dog away, yelling an obscenity or two. Don't worry, the child was fine, and for that matter, so was the dog. The children started crying, however, more upset at their father's scary outburst than any canine threat.
After he told this story, we would discover that each of us listeners had honed in on a different detail:
One of us was worried about the three-year-old (granted, we all cared, but we already knew the child was unharmed).What becomes evident in even the telling of a simple anecdote, is that each of us puts our own spin on things we hear. Coming from different backgrounds and having agendas that are uniquely individual, we interpret things according to our personal filter.
One of us wanted to scold people who let their dogs run loose.
One of us was shocked that our friend kicked a dog.
One of us was surprised that he swore in front of his little kids.
Me, I wondered what his wife had to say when she heard about all this.
Part of the fun of seeing movies with friends is that we all come away with different perspectives to share. One may point out ironic parallels in the arc of a secondary character, while another may focus on foreshadowing that the rest of us missed.
Welcome — even celebrate — the many and varied trains of thought your words are likely to trigger. As long as your main points hit the bull's eye, that's as good as any communicator can ask for.