Archive for November, 2011

168 Ways To Communicate Better Now Plus Two – 7 – 8 – 9

7.  Be accurate.

Check your facts.

Avoid rumors.

Don’t jump to conclusions.

Evaluate your sources.  

7. Be accountable.

Take responsibility for your actions.

Stand up and be counted.

Stay involved.

Don’t blame others. 

8. Be alert.

Stay tuned in.

Be fully present.

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Thankful Thursday – Thanksgiving 2011

 On this Thanksgiving Day my heart overflows with gratitude. I am thankful for my faith that sustains me whatever the circumstances of my life. I am thankful for my family immediate and extended. My late wife, Liz, was a blessing to everyone who knew her. Carol gave me my life back. Suzanne and Michael are constant sources of blessings and joy. No one has ever been blessed with a more wonderful sister than I have with my sister. Jean.

I am thankful for the church I attend that has guided people of faith for 328 years. I am thankful for the United States of America. I had no part in being born here and I have no disregard for any other country, but I am eternally grateful for my good fortune. I am thankful for my hometown of Woodruff, South Carolina and the values I learned growing up there. I am grateful for the people of Northside Baptist Church who encouraged me in all that I attempted to do. I am thankful for my teachers. All of them gave of themselves that I might have a better life. I am thankful for the influences of Mars Hill College, Furman University, the University of Alabama and Louisiana State University for their part in lifting my vision for what could be.

 I am thankful for my friends who are truly gifts from God to my life. I am thankful for those with whom I have disagreed over the years. They have helped to sharpen my thinking. I am thankful to the many that served on the Board of Directors of the Charleston Speech and Hearing Center. They allowed me to have a career that was fulfilling and meaningful. I am grateful to the many staff members over the years who helped me grow and forgave my failures. I am thankful for my colleagues and students at Webster University where I have taught for 32 years. I am grateful to the contributors to my book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. They are a remarkable group of extremely dedicated and talented brothers and sisters in Christ.

I am thankful for all the committee members and speakers for the John A. Hamrick Lectureship for their devotion to a cause that honors the life and work of this great servant of God. I am grateful for all of those who have helped to make Say Something Nice Day and Say Something Nice Sunday successful movements that continue to gain support. I am thankful that at this point in my life that God has given me a new vision for helping people of different faiths, the same faith, and no faith talk with each other in a more productive way. I am thankful for my adopted city of Charleston, one of the most beautiful and hospitable cities in the world. I join with the psalmist in singing, “My cup runneth over.”

            On this Thanksgiving Day of 2011, I am more aware than ever and humbled by the realization that I cannot count my blessings. They are too numerous. As I recount one, ten more spring to mind. Join me as I strive to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Celebrate this Thanksgiving Day with joy, gratitude and peace.

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168 Ways To Communicate Better Now Plus Two – 4 – 5 – 6

 4. Avoid ambiguity.

Say what you mean.

Speak directly to the intended party.

Don’t guess.

Don’t make others guess. 

5. Avoid jargon.

Stay away from alphabet soup.

Stay away from the language of your profession.

Avoid slang.  

6.  Avoid sarcasm.

It’s annoying.

It tells too much about you.

It backfires so easily.

It’s never appropriate.

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Thankful Thursday – Dr. Jim Southard

On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that Dr. Jim Southard brings to my life. Jim was the veterinarian for my wonderful dog, British. He cared for British as if British belonged to him. He was a wonderful and caring husband for his late wife, Willa. They met at the University of Georgia. She was devoted to drama and dance.  Jim told me, “She was the most beautiful person I had ever seen.”  Anyone could see that Willa was just as dedicated to Jim. Jim grew up in Charleston and went to Citadel Square Baptist Church. David Redd’s mother was his RA leader. For non-Baptists that’s a training program for Baptist boys. He and Willa later joined First Baptist. He is a Clemson graduate and served in the Army. He is also an Eagle Scout as is his son. He is still very active in scouting. For a long time he did a veterinary show on channel 5. I followed him as chair of the diaconate at FBC and he was helpfulness itself. I admire his dedication to his profession, his devotion to the church and his great sense of humor. Jim knows how to laugh and how to spin a great yarn. For a time, Jim, Clarence Glover and I rode together for some church meetings. Those trips would cure whatever ails you. Jim is also the ever indulgent granddad and is happy to tell you about them. On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that Jim Southard brings to my life.

Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the importance of someone to our lives and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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