#179 Learn Sign Language

How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) speak but needed to send a message across the room?

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#179

Learn sign language

When I was in high school, I played the part of Annie Sullivan in our school play production of The Miracle Worker. She was the woman who taught Helen Keller as a child, how to communicate with the world. As a result of that experience, I learned the sign language alphabet and at that time, became rather proficient at spelling out words. Since I was the only one in my environment who had the skill – it didn’t do me much good. At least until my sisters learned it and then – we had fun discussing things secretly even in a crowded n those skills.

I didn’t have much motivation to broaden my knowledge until I was babysitting him one evening. He kept trying to get out of bed and even though he was trying to signal something to me, I was being quite stern. He wasn’t old enough to write things down and I was tired. Eventually, his persistence wore me down and I indicated that he could get up and do whatever it was he wanted so badly. The poor kid ran as fast as he could into the bathroom and I felt like a rotten Aunt. It was motivation.

Eventually I was in a position to learn American Sign Language (ASL)- the most common type of ‘signing’ in the Deaf community. I was known to be theatrical and so it was a good fit because a lot of the communication is via inference of facial expressions and body movement. By then, my nephew was much older and although I didn’t see him often, it was nice to be able to ‘converse’ and I could comprehend most of what he was conveying to me. Over time and without practice, my ‘signing’ became majorly rusty and barely discernible.

Sign language isn’t just for deaf people. There are lots of occasions where interpreters are needed as the American Disabilities Act requires public and certain private organizations to provide assistance so that the hearing impaired can receive the same information that hearing individuals have access to. How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) speak but needed to send a message across the room? I know many of us use texting for this purpose! People who know sign language enjoy an alternative mode of transporting messages.

ASL is widely becoming accepted as a ‘second language’ in the public education space. It is an option now in many foreign language departments across the USA. Some organizations offer classes and many of the people who act as interpreters in churches and synagogues also teach small groups locally. Generally, it’s easy to find an inexpensive and convenient forum to learn.

Earlier this year one of the suggestions I made was to both learn something new and to take a class. This suggestion encompasses both! I hope you’ll consider the overall benefits of creating new neural pathways, setting and reaching a goal, as well as having a little fun as you look for a class and make the decision to …

Learn sign language.

 

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#238 Say “I’m Sorry”

An apology that includes the word “but” is null and void before it really ever gets started. “I’m sorry but…” becomes meaningless …

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#238

Say “I’m sorry”

This is a suggestion that, for many of us, is a no-brainer. Some of us know when we have committed an infraction in word or deed and we readily and easily apologize. Others, perhaps not so much. Why is it important to say “I’m sorry”?

Respect

An apology demonstrates respect and empathy for the person who was ‘wronged’. If we’ve hurt someone – unintentionally or otherwise – it’s important to acknowledge that our actions may have generated unwanted or unpleasant feelings in the person who felt injured. It indicates that we have an awareness of how our behavior impacted another and that we are willing to take responsibility for our behavior.

Accept Responsibility

Perhaps the most important element is that of taking responsibility; of owning the impact our actions have had. An apology only has an impact when the offensive behavior isn’t repeated. As the famous saying goes… “the first time is a mistake, the second is a choice.” When we own our part in an infraction, pay attention to how it came about, and repent – making a promise not to repeat the offense – it becomes forgivable.

Mean it.

Being sincere is the second most important element in an apology; expressed without anger or blame. When we accompany it with a desire to repair the damage, with humility, and compassion for the feelings of all involved, the regret is more easily accepted.

Watch your Language

An apology that includes the word “but” is null and void before it really ever gets started. “I’m sorry but…” becomes meaningless because most of us will only remember the words that came after. If we use any language that implies blame, defense will rise in the receiver and they’ll be unable to register the apology. If there is a problem to resolve, work on it after responsibility for hurt has been demonstrated and amends have begun.

Think carefully about someone in your life that may still be hurting from your action or lack thereof… consider taking a few minutes to construct an apology and then…

Say “I’m sorry”.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.