Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Paper Route

by Credo (writer), I practice living in the Spirit, October 28, 2007


At one time the newspapers and magazines use to be the major information exchange in most communities back when most folks took reading very seriously, it was sort of like an art form, no it was more than that it was apart of our culture at that time. Since then we have lost the art along the way including the art of conversation within our culture, we don’t even talk to each other at the dinner table any more. Maybe it’s because no one sits at the table together as a family any more. Our families have become strangers who happen to live in the same house with us, sharing the house like room mates; the only difference is that we just don’t share all the bills. I don’t consider this to be a trend of some kind due to the fact that it is not happening to every culture around the world.

Something is different in our culture that has now manifested a complete break down of social connection and family tides that are so essential to human progress, moral and ethical development. I haven’t put my finger on the causes of this dilemma yet but it is something that has led me to examine how important communication truly is.

The paper route was not unlike the mail man, salesmen or the milk man who came to the neighborhood to support the people’s needs within the communities, and by doing so they brought with them a real live person who interacted with the young (who needed that guidance and extra positive communication from their elders within and among the communities) and the elderly (who generally wanted that personal conversation to feel that sense of value and worth within their own communities). They became more than just service people or business acquaintances; they were our friends and our extended families who always came through when we were down and when time got hard. When the mail man came he brought with him (besides our checks and bills) his personal touch which was seen in his smile, the natural persona in which he always exhibited was akin to a bright sunny day even when things was going terribly wrong in his own life, he would always managed to give his best to his adopted family. Well back then this could be said about all of them, even though most of them didn’t live in our neighborhoods they had become a welcomed extension of our communities. If your old enough you may remember those funny little shaped glass milk bottles that the milk man use to leave at the front door sitting on top of the newspapers/magazines (sometimes if the milk bottles were already on the steps the newspaper kid would put the milk on top of the paper to keep it from blowing away or stuff the paper in the crack of the doors).

Times were certainly different back then and I kind of miss those wonderful people who would bring with them their special kind of pride, the talent to communicate was more for the upliftment of each other rather than for monetary gains as it is today. But of course they made money on these routes which was to be expected but they also made friends, most of the time we got to meet their wives, kids and some of the paper boys lived in the neighborhood so we also knew their families as well. We were a close nit society that held quality of life more valuable than the quantity that life contained or the value of riches could never be worth more than the value of our families and friends. But that was back then, today it is extremely different.

The lost of communication has meant the lost of pride, the disassociation with other human beings and the inability to negotiate, and this as you can see can be and has been dreadfully detrimental to our society as we are very inarticulate in our school systems, our communities and our government (even President Bush can’t complete an articulate sentence without help from his advisors). Staggering statistics suggest a steady decline in newspapers, books, and magazine purchases within our society which further implies that people are no longer interested in reading or subscribing to communication in that context. Perhaps this trend is due to a surplus of Cable television, computer online services, video games or perhaps it is due to our poorly run education system. Hell we have many reasons that we could point out here that would show probable cause for our condition, but perhaps causational attitudes is not the answer to the resolution of this problem.

Our strength as humans beings has always been in the form of unity as a family unit, the indivisible ties of friendship and the collective connections of the people in our communities, for what ever reason those values has changed (deteriorated). Once communication ceases to exist the nature of our world will also deteriorate and crumble to ruins and waste. A prime example of this communication deterioration is seen in our political attitudes toward other governments around the world. Like a child who struck another child (preemptive strike on Iraq) because we thought he had a toy that we don’t want him to have. (This shows our lack of diplomacy and collapse in negotiation dexterity). A bit oversimplification but you get what I mean; we need to return to the paper route, to a time when life was smoother and calmer and at peace with our neighbors, to a time where communication was simple and good expressions of mental togetherness between individuals. We are so alone that our neighbors could be starving next door to us and we wouldn’t recognize it because we shun them with ridicule and prejudice and a lack thereof in our offerings of natural communication. And yet we communicate so well over the internet and dell phones we can’t find it in our hearts to communicate to real people. There in lies the breakdown of society…

Many marriages today have not survived during our new age of non communication and of course this is another form of losing that art of negotiation and human connection among two very important people (man and wife) who eternally constructs and designs our society at large. One of the most important aspects of a successful relationship is effective communication between both parties. Lack of communication in a relationship can result in hasty decisions that can even lead to separation or Divorce. We need to understand the reasons behind communication breakdown and how they can be avoided to ensure a fulfilling relationship. Reasons behind lack of communication vary from couple to couple, but the important thing is you shouldn’t let these problems come in the way of your relationship. Always talk things out between yourselves before they get worse and never let lack of communication lead to misunderstandings and distrust in any relationship. This advice should also be relegated to society at large to begin to surrender ourselves to each other so that a better common supportive understanding along with the natural generated care that comes along with this kind of communication could be established.

Some Common Communication Mistakes
• Mind reading, thinking you know what the other person thinks
• Expecting the other person to know what you are thinking
• Pretending there is nothing wrong when there is
• Thinking if you ignore a problem long enough, it will go away
• Not being honest with yourself or the other person

Why is Communication so Difficult?
• We are not really taught to listen properly
• We are afraid the truth will hurt
• We think we cannot find the best words, when any words that say what we mean will do
• We do not find time to do it

“When people or groups are in conflict, communication between them tends to get worse and worse. As a conflict escalates, people limit their direct contact with people on the other side, because such conflict is uncomfortable or threatening. They also tend to assume that they have "heard it all before," that there is nothing new to be learned from listening to what the opponent says or thinks. Thus, they tend to get their information from "internal sources"--from talking and listening to each other, and from rumors. Eventually all direct communication between parties may be cut off. Sometimes, communication is cut off in protest, as when an ambassador is recalled from a country in response to an act or statement which the host country made or did. Although this clearly exhibits displeasure, it does nothing to resolve the situation; rather it makes the chances of resolution more remote.

In describing the escalation process (or what they call the "spiral of unmanaged conflict,") Susan Carpenter and W.J.D. Kennedy (1988, p. 13) write "in the early stages of conflict, people talked with each other and exchanged opinions. Unfortunately somewhere along the way public discussions turned to public debate. People are frustrated by the situation and angry at each other. They become intolerant of other points of view and lose interest in talking about perspectives other than their own. Listening to counterpoints is unpleasant because they have invested heavily in one side of the argument and this is not time for second thoughts. As a result, conversation between the parties stops, and information is used as a weapon to promote a position or win a point. Information that would lead to a solution no longer flows between the parties."

Who would have ever though that the paper route was so darn important?

About the Writer

Credo is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on The Paper Route

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By Kent J. on October 30, 2007 at 03:53 pm
Interesting article
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Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Credo on October 31, 2007 at 01:50 am
Hey! you are everywhere (smile) thanks again... Credo
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