All Communication Leaves a Mark

Did you know that everything you communicate leaves an impression?  I was thinking about this last night as I concluded session nine of our communication course, and read the thought-provoking story written by Paulo Coelho…

Everything we do or say, and what our body language portrays (including those facial expressions that we have no idea we’re wearing), leaves an impression on others.  How often is it that we are so caught up in the doing of things, that we forget how we are conveying our doing, and our unconscious (or autopilot) responses take charge?

I share with you below ‘The Story of the Pencil’ by Paolo Coelho, taken from his book ‘Like the Flowing River’.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I do every time I share it …

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter.  At one point, he asked: “Are you writing a story about what we’ve done?  Is it a story about me?”

His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:  “I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using.  I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.”

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil.  It didn’t seem very special.  “But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!”

“That depends on how you look at things.  It has five qualities, which, if you manage to hang on to them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world”, said his grandmother.

“The first quality is that you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps.  We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.

The second quality is that now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener.  That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards he’s much sharper.  So you too must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.

Third quality is that the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes.  This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice. 

Fourth quality.  What really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside.  So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.

The pencil’s fifth quality - it always leaves a mark.  In just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action”.

When you communicate with others, what marks do you leave behind?  

PS:  The book is great and full of wonderful stories, thoughts and reflections just like this one - I highly recommend it!  

by Barbara Jaques 

29 September 2016