Tag Archives: communication

Oh, Sugar! Progress Report


You may remember the poem I came up with to encourage people to think about the words they use and say “Oh, sugar!” instead of using profanity or obscenities.  And then when people use God’s or Jesus’ name as an exclamation or a curse, I was going to start saying “I’m so glad you brought Him up.  He loves you so very much!”

I printed the poem and put it in a frame and put a pretty bowl of sugar cubes in front of it at my desk about a week before Thanksgiving.  And I still have it up along with some Christmas decorations now.

A good handful of people have noticed the sign or the sugar while I was around, so I invited them to read the poem and explained why the sugar cubes.  Everyone of them left with a smile, and most seemed to agree it was kind of cute.

Then today along came the perfect opportunity to try the 2nd part of my plan.  I was talking one-on-one with someone and as she described a recent painful event, she was suddenly exclaiming God’s name several times.

I couldn’t hold myself back.  I jumped in with, “Yes, God certainly was watching over you!” and as she continued, I went on with “Please don’t say that, God loves you so much!  Please stop saying ‘God’.  Don’t use His name in vain.”

So, I have broken the ice.  I hope to be more courageous now and to speak up in love when people misuse His name.  I want everyone to know that God is real, He loves you, and He knows who you are.  🙂

Here’s the poem again if you want to use it (I’m thinking of substituting Christmas for the word Thanksgiving now on my framed copy):

Thanksgiving is the perfect time

to give up words not sublime.

To drive those words right from your head,

try Grandma Pearson’s words instead:

“Oh, sugar!”

Words Say a Lot About Who You Are


There are several things that separate us and make us truly unique – fingerprints, lip prints, even words!

“Words are a form of personal expression.  They differentiate us as well as fingerprints do.  They reflect what kind of person we are, and tell of our background, and depict our way of life.  They describe our thinking as well as our inner feelings.”  Elder Charles Didier.

We are distinguished by the words we use, the kind of language we use, the way we say things, and what we choose to say.  There are probably times when you choose your words more carefully than others, i.e. if you want to make a good impression, if you don’t want to offend someone, if you are trying to be respectful.

And there may be times when you just figure you need to “let it all hang out”, or you are “just being honest”, or you are angry and trying to be hurtful.  What about these times?  Does it matter?  If it does, does anyone care that it matters?

Let’s think of this in a different way.  Have you ever been on the receiving end of these types of communication?  How did they make you feel?  What was your reaction?  Did you react in a like manner?  Did you retaliate and speak even more harshly?

Do you like being in trouble with someone?  Or do you appreciate it when someone compliments you, treats you respectfully, or even just says hi?

These are opposite ends of the spectrum and it’s a good idea to give this some thought.  What impression would you like to give others?  Have you noticed that what and how you communicate affects what and how you feel?  It also affects your mood, your happiness, your peace, and your relationships with others and with God.

What do you notice about the way others speak to you?  What does that tell you about them?  Is that something you want to emulate?

Giving Thanks Improves Communication Skills


Yesterday I talked a little about how important our communications are, especially the words we choose to use, and how this fits in perfectly as we celebrate Thanksgiving.  We are giving thanks, or being grateful, for our blessings, and our thoughts turn to God in appreciation for what we have.

As we think of the things we have and appreciate them, our hearts become softened for we are no longer being so selfish about our belongings.

And as we extend those thoughts to more than just what we own and appreciate people around us, the freedoms to do as we choose to do, the talents God has given us that we can practice and expand upon, as well as the good things in life that have helped us make good decisions and receive the naturally-following good consequences of those decisions, our hearts become enlarged even more and we begin to see and truly appreciate God’s hand in our lives as well as the lives of those around us.

As we give substance to all these things, we become more God-like (which is usually referred to as more Christ-like).  Then we find that our communication with, to, and about others becomes more substantial and meaningful.  We find ourselves watching and picking the right words to use, then graduating on to improved language skills as we interact with others, refining our abilities and sensibilities and drop all signs of course or even inappropriate words and phrases.

As we give thanks to our Father in Heaven and increase our communications, we’ll find that our relationships are strengthened, our self-esteem improved, and our confidence waxes stronger and stronger as our relationship with God and Christ improve.

And we’ll say, “Ah, life is good!”  🙂

Thanksgiving Communications


November is a great month.  It seems that almost everyone’s thoughts start turning to what they are grateful for.

Not only do we enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with all the trimmings that go along with it, but people throughout the world have similar celebrations, grateful for the harvest, food to eat, and the other things they enjoy in life.

And many people give thanks for their blessings to their God, the Bestower of all good things.

As I contemplated these thoughts over the last month or so, I thought of the communications we have with God, and also with each other.  It occurred to me that Thanksgiving is a great time to address those various communications.

We use communication to share thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc. with someone.  And we usually adjust the words we pick, the tone we choose, and the emphasis we use given the situation.

Often in life we find that we can become quite casual; over-communicative; perhaps use profanity when angry or trying to show off or stress our point; even throw around the name of Deity as a simple exclamation.

Unfortunately, these last two are happening more and more often, by women as well as by men, and even by our children in school.  This has to change.

How you communicate reflects who you are as a son or daughter of God. Clean and intelligent language is evidence of a bright and wholesome mind. Good language that uplifts, encourages, and compliments others invites the Spirit to be with you. Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith, hope, and charity.  As you do this you will have a better quality of life, more happiness, and greater blessings.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good” Ephesians 4:29.

Always use the names of God and Jesus Christ with reverence and respect. Misusing the names of Deity is a sin. When you pray, address your Father in Heaven in reverent and respectful language. The Savior used such respectful language in the Lord’s Prayer (see Matthew 6:9–12).

Let’s encourage others to use clean language and receive the blessings that naturally follow.  🙂

Adventures With Healthcare


My experience with the healthcare system has been vast and varied.  Recent events have reminded me once again how important it is for both sides to try to communicate properly with one another; not presuming that the other knows everything about your side of the situation.  Even when it seems the other knows you, what you expect of them, the situation, and its outcome, there is plenty of room for misunderstanding, miscommunication, and mistaken conclusions.

In other words, for best possible outcomes, both patients and caregivers must ask for and give lots of information.  Over-communicating is better than under-communicating.

One situation I am quite familiar with is chronic pain.  Happily I can report that healthcare has made great advances in dealing with people who have chronic pain.  With the pain scale having become the gold-standard for assessing the amount of pain patients are feeling, physicians and other caregivers can have a much clearer picture of what is going on.  This helps guide their decision-making processes, enabling them to give greater comfort and aid than might otherwise be possible.

There are healthcare professionals who are very aware of chronic pain and how it affects patients.  They strive to take proper care of all patients, even hiring pain management teams to assist.  They see the situations their patients experience, and are increasing their knowledge in order to relieve greater suffering.  They take into account that not all patients feel pain in the same way, that some have an incredibly high threshold for pain while others have a very low tolerance for it.  And they seek to treat each as an individual with his or her own treatment plan.

They have talked with patients and learned that some, particularly those with chronic pain, are never pain-free and must be kept at a pain-medication maintenance level at all times, even when in the hospital.  They have acknowledged the fact that these patients need pain medicine to make the pain tolerable and help them function.  These patients do not ask for ever-increasing amounts of the medicine, they remain at the same dosage level for years.

These patients need additional pain medication when having had surgery or a serious injury that causes increased pain.  Well-informed caregivers realize that it is much easier, and takes less medication, to stay on top of the pain than it is to try to play catch-up after the pain has reached searing heights.

Additionally they recognize that there are some patients who should be, or perhaps are, feeling great pain because of their situation, yet are more concerned with remaining drug-free or at least under-medicated.  Reasons for this can vary from having previously had a negative reaction to the normal pain medication regimen all the way to believing they will be driving themselves home soon and wanting to remain clear-headed.

I have experienced situations where the attending physician went to great lengths to solve the underlying problem and continue treatment until it was resolved.  And I have experienced situations where the caregivers simply act along the baseline for that type of situation, not looking any deeper to become familiar with the whole picture (or perhaps just failing to review the situation with the patient where assurances could have been given, and needs properly addressed).  The more we know and understand all sides of issues within healthcare, the better off all will be.  Suffering can decrease and wellness increase as pain and other complications are handled properly or avoided altogether.

What types of healthcare experiences have impacted you?


Two Missionaries of .

Two Missionaries of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope you had a good week.  It is amazing to me how the weeks fly by.  We’re doing pretty well.

The sign language song went very well.  We did it in the chapel as usual.  Then we went to several of the floors throughout the hospital and did it at the nurses’ stations.  I thought it was interesting what the people’s reactions were.  Most just kind of seemed to go on with their work, and some stopped what they were doing to listen and to watch.  A couple even clapped.  But all 3 of us loved doing it.

Today has been a kind of quiet day, but I’m feeling a bit discombobulated.  As I think about it, I think it’s because some issues came up today that I haven’t been able to resolve but feel they should be resolved quickly.  It can be hard when you have to wait for someone to do something that you need for your boss and you don’t know when they’ll get to it.  So I figure I’ll give them a day or so, then remind them.  Also I was playing a CD on my computer from an LDS group, Mercy River.  I was in the other room and a co-worker asked if we could turn off my music.  It didn’t seem very loud to me, but I guess maybe when she came out to help someone it must have interfered with their talking.  I don’t mind turning it off, but I feel kind of funny about the situation.

I do think that Satan tries to make us feel unsure or uncomfortable about things so that we aren’t as close to each other as we could be.  Questions pop into your mind and if you don’t kick them out, you soon start wondering if things are different than what they really are.  I do think that’s one reason it’s important to talk with people.  To check things out with them, so that misunderstandings can be cleared up as quickly as possible before much damage is done.  And we have to be careful what we buy into. One of the talks in church on Sunday was wonderful.  A lot of it was from Preach My Gospel.  A few things she said really stood out for me: ·         We should talk to everyone.  We never know what seed might be planted [and I’ve found that sometimes others are listening and can glean information too] or what they might be looking for.  It has also occurred to me since then that we can be so much more encouraging and friendly than we sometimes are.  i.e. instead of just walking down the hall ignoring people, or even just smiling and saying hi, I can give a compliment when I notice something good about them, or I can strike up a conversation with the person I’m standing next to, even just a friendly little chat. ·         When others are talking, we should listen to them and not think about what we’ll say back to them.  This is hard, but Heavenly Father has promised that He will give us what we need in the very hour that we need it.  We need to trust Him and let Him work through us. It was a very inspirational talk and helped me want to try a little harder and not give up.  I just love her. Yesterday the April church magazines came, so I brought the Ensign with me to read on the shuttle.  In the first article, by President Eyring, he said something that really made me think, “In the sacramental prayers, God promises to send the Holy Ghost to be with us…I have found in that moment that God can give me what feels like a personal interview.  He brings to my attention what I have done that pleases Him, my need for repentance and forgiveness, and the names and faces of people He would have me serve for Him.”  Wow, that just caught my eye!  And how much more meaningful would the sacrament be if we approached it this way.  I hope to try to do this going forward, and not just during the sacrament.  I think it would be great to do this every day! Well, have a great week!  We love you very much.