I like to view myself as an individual who is not transparent in their emotions. What you see is what you get. I am not afraid to speak my mind and so I thought I would be able to breeze my way through this project with no challenges. On second thought, when I go about speaking my mind, I can say some pretty harsh things… maybe this assignment was going to be tougher than I thought. I remember explaining the task to my father on the car ride home for spring break. He had an interesting opinion. “Mitch,” he said to me, “that shouldn’t be a problem for you, cause that is what your old Dad does everyday!” HA, thought I. However, Dad got me thinking as to how often we throw out little white lies to make conversations flow. I had seen my father caught in the act of joking with me and I have caught him mid-fallacy beforehand. I decided the following day to be my day of observation.
I slept in again. My parents were at work and my sister was at school. Great. How was I supposed to practice kind, useful and true communication with dog as my only company? Post-shower, my phone buzzes and it’s my neighbor, Mrs. Schargel, who’s family we have been best friends with since the day we moved into the neighborhood. She was having the carpets cleaned and was home alone. She said the men doing the job might try to take advantage of her lack of carpet pricing and so she wanted me to accompany her to show she wasn’t vulnerable. How could I refuse? I soon joined my neighbor in her kitchen and was advising her with my “extensive knowledge of carpets” I was said to possess. Fortunately the men did not confront me and so I spoke with Mrs. Schargel about school. I was forced to state what was happening to me in was that shed positive light on true events. I related the facts about my present rooming situation, clubs, and athletics and then added my opinions in a constructive manner, which drew a positive response from her. She said that she hopes her son Matthew makes the same good decisions as I do when it comes to living at college and away from my family. This simple compliment felt so much deeper for me because I knew that I had earned it through genuine oration of my college adventures. I had told the whole truth and nothing but the truth and it felt good.
After picking up my sister, Kelsey, from school and rocking out to our favorite songs on the way home I inquired as to how she spent her day. She told me about her classes and how her circle of friends was all deciding which colleges to attend the following year. She has applied to the same Loyola that I attend and she asked me how I would feel if she joined me here next year. Now this was the most difficult point of the day. Normally I would have shrugged off the question saying, “You should choose the school that is right for you.” However, today was different. I told her that I would love if she joined me but I really enjoyed my independence from the family. I told her that we have a lot of the same interests and that is good and all but I was going to see her 5 nights a week because we are going to be singing in the same choirs. I didn’t want college to continue the relationship we had in high school by hanging with the same crowds and being together all the time. When I had concluded my speech, she seemed a bit surprised but told me that I was absolutely right and Loyola is still high on her list. We hugged it out and the day continued.
Upon completing my observations for the day, I have gained a real insight to how I communicate. I feel now I am more aware of what I am speaking and I have an appreciation for people who speak the truth on a regular basis in a way that is kind and just. This project has changed the way I view others and the world.