Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Let's Talk About It

Dear Joseph,

It is September of 2008, and you are beginning to say your first words. Half the time only you know what you are trying to say, but that will get better rather quickly. In fact, you will probably be making sentences by the end of the year. So, why does Papa take time to talk with you about this?

As you get older, much of your success, much of how the world perceives you and much of your ability to get things done will depend on your ability to express yourself clearly. When a man can explain things in a way that others can easily understand, he will have more success and others will seek him out for help. In addition, he will be a natural teacher.Too many people say stuff without realizing how ambiguous they are being and how much conflict that can cause. So, how do you become a good communicator? How do you learn to put the right words together in order to make yourself easily understandable to others?

First, you listen in school and learn basic grammar. Most complex problems start when someone screws up something basic. Learn grammar. Then practice. Explain in clear and simple terms why Dad should let you have the car on Saturday evenings. Be precise when you point out to Mom the futility of wasting time to make a bed that you will be sleeping in again in just a few hours.

Seriously, though, read, read, read. Read fiction and see how authors hold you spell bound and draw you into their stories. Read political columns to see how those writers use words and phrases to convince you that their point of view is correct. And, all this time, question what others write. Something may be written well but be totally wrong. That requires judgment on your part and that is a topic for another letter.

Papa loves you (and that's why he writes this stuff)

1 comment:

Mr. Joseph said...


Mr. Joseph