Do you remember as a kid ever finding a baby bird or squirrel, and your parents telling you not to hold it because its parents would be able to smell you on it, and abandon it so it would die? I hope that wasn’t just me who was told that. Anyhow, it’s all about being careful. I’m not talking about holding baby critters today, but rather, conversations.
We’re all familiar with that, as we talk to individuals, groups, folks, sound off on Facebook, and so forth. And like everything else, there’s a right way and a not so right way. Even wrong ways, you know? Trouble is, some of those falling into the latter category are clueless and have killed many a conversation.
I’m more of a listener than I am a talker. That’s because I don’t have a lot to add, generally speaking. I see myself as someone who knows a little about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything. So I play it safe with brief comments and tend to ask questions. Everybody likes to be asked their opinion, so that gets me off the hook.
I know, I tend to go on and on when writing my weekly malarkey, but it’s not like you have to stand there and listen to me. In fact, most of you just perused my column header here in the paper and are turning pages right now, busy trying to find out who’s been arrested and who’s getting married or buried this week. And I’m good with that. Less readers means less critics, you know!
Don’t we all know somebody who could talk the ears off a cornstalk? You know who I mean. They’re anxious to pontificate on their subjects of choice (even themselves, sometimes), and then don’t have the patience or time for you to get a lot of talking in. I do declare, some of them ought to have a racing stripe painted down the sides of their tongues. I keep saying I’m going to get one of those T-shirts that reads, “Don’t the people from your planet ever shut up?”
I was given advice by an old-timer when I was a teenager, concerning speaking in front of groups or crowds. He said, “Remember the three S’s—Stand up, Speak up, and then Shut up!” I’ve never forgotten that and have done my best to abide by it. One thing that helps keep me brief is that the longer I talk, the less I seem to know about whatever it is I’m going on about. I guess you could say I personify that old adage that goes, “You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes, but after that, you better know something.”
We’ll always have motormouths among us. You might try complimenting them with, “Aren’t you the loquacious one!” That means “talkative,” but a lot of people don’t know that, so they’re liable to pretend they do, and thank you for it. For some reason, they can’t appreciate how nice some silence can be between friends. Trust me, it’s scarcer than hen’s teeth sometimes.
Speaking of which, I think I’ll just quit typing now, so you can read something else. You’re welcome, and thank you for allowing me to carry on like this!