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I’m Articulate!

I have been getting this compliment a lot lately, and frankly I haven’t really processed it, or figured out what to do with it just yet. It appears that one of my special talents is the ability to express myself well, in exact and clear language. It might even be my super power. I don’t necessarily consider myself especially articulate (although I love the compliment), and in fact sometimes I feel absolutely tongue-tied. There are some words that I just can’t seem to pronounce, and I have been known on more than one occasion to invent vocabulary (just ask Julie).
And yet, I cannot deny a certain joy that I get when I’m explaining something hard to someone that I understand, and when I can roll it around in my hand and make it more simple, or adjust the explanation to the person I’m talking with. It’s a fire that wells up inside of me. I really should have been a teacher professionally, because I’m really good at it. I guess being articulate is part of being a good teacher. I suppose my B.A. in philosophy trained me to be precise and clear in my speech and writing, but honestly I’ve learned so much more about communication since then.
For example:
I’ve learned it’s more important to listen than to speak, and it’s more important to be understood than it is to be right.
I’ve learned that conversation is not about being correct or precise; it’s about communion between speakers.
I’ve learned that it pays to be compassionate in conversation, and to give your speaker the benefit of the doubt when they say something that is obviously incorrect but simultaneously relevant. It’s arrogant to correct people in casual conversation.
The list goes on…
What does all of this have to do with being articulate? It means that I value my ability, and I value that others value it, but it’s only one of many possible and valuable skills in communication, and probably not even the most important one. One thing is for certain–my ability to be clear and concise sharply declines when it’s 2:30 AM and I’m exhausted.
I’m falling asleep at they keyboard. Good night.

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