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Communication: It Does A Body Good BY DANICA TREBEL

By Chared Cincoflores

Communication is like milk: it does a body good. But what happens if that milk sits in the refrigerator for too long and doesn't get used? It spoils and gets sour. The same thing happens to communication when we stop using it. Think about it: Remember last week when you were being pulled in 19 different directions and the dishes still needed to be put away? Remember how you thought, "Wow, it sure would be nice if someone would show just a little bit of initiative and put those dishes where they belong without having to be asked...just once!!!"? And remember how the more time passed without anything being said, the more sour you felt? "They should have known I needed help. Couldn't they see how stressed out I was?! They're so ungrateful and lazy!" you continually tell yourself.

And then there's the flip side. Your daughter just got done cleaning up the spaghetti off the floor and rather than being acknowledged for her effort, she feels unnoticed and stupid for having dropped it in the first place. And when she asked if there were anything else she could do to help, all she heard was, "No. I'll just do it all myself...as usual." Pretty soon the whole family is muttering to themselves that "no one knows how to do anything right;" "no one lifts a finger to help around here;" "if only he had told me how to do what he wants done, I'd have been happy to do it...anything to keep the peace." After a while no one is checking the expiration date on their methods of communication, and what you have on your hands is another family spoiled by silence.

But if a lack of communication leads to a soured outlook, what if you had actually spoken up? What if, instead of focusing on what other people weren't doing, you would have been able to say, "Hey, when you have a second, I sure could use an extra set of hands with these dishes"? Do you think that would have changed the dynamic of the rest of the day? The week? A month? Or even the future of your daughter? What if just by opening the refrigerator door and reaching for the milk, you also opened the door to a new relationship built on respect and healing communication? And what if by finding your own voice you empowered an entire generation to find theirs too?

Imagine a world where we can all speak our truth with love and respect. Imagine the life you personally can be living on a daily basis when you have nothing soured in your refrigerator. I don't know about you, but I'm all about a clean kitchen, a clean conscience and some great tasting milk. After all, communication: it does a body good...