A funny happenstance occurred yesterday. I was helping a friend of a friend whose daughter was having some difficulty in middle school. Assisting much like I would with you in high school and college. Help you with your assignments. Your writing. I was trying to understand the assignment that she had partially completed. It was a summary of settling the country and two people, one in command, a captain in the early days of Jamestown. She had written that survival in the early colonial days was possible only because of trust and communication. I explained that difficulty in writing, summarizing stories, is often due to the lack of attention to words. And here they were, two words in the opening summary that had been perfectly placed and then ignored. What did trust and communication mean?
With this question on the table, we talked about how she could write her summary better, structure it, compose a flow of logic with a compelling retell analysis. Use just these two words to dwell on the essence of the author. Take the story to a deeper analysis, soon to be needed as she moves on to high school and college. How much of this story could be reflected on with these two words from other stories? Analogs and metaphors. Fully focus on the words. These two words for now.
We talked about trust, how it unfolds. Trust is rarely conferred with immediacy. It’s more grown over time. With experience. Between people. With perspectives bonded through situations. Having a belief in an outcome though with only partial information. Letting go of doubt. We went on to communication. What it means and how the text structure from the story allowed this big word to be so important. Was it in the words used by the captain? When? Surely communication comes from looks, gestures, and acts of kindness and regret. Providing assurance and leading to events. Interpretations. So our discussion went on and we talked about how these two big words could be used to anchor her assignment. Have fun with the words, unpack them. Position them for heavy-duty use. Pay attention to them.
It occurred to me this morning that you were all about trust and communication. We trusted you to do the right thing. Be responsible. We communicated quite well I believe. Had so many conversations about mighty things and petty things as we muddled through fun and work. You were kind and thought of others, the very essence of trust and communication.
It occurred to me this morning that my current strained efforts to leave a legacy for you and me is all about trust and communication. With the administration. People in command much like this captain who was settling the country in the early days of Jamestown. Can they be trusted? What would allow trust to be formed? Surely few experiences have been shared in common. Little to no communication has ensued. No muddling through difficult effort or enjoyable events. Gestures not presented with no one there. How can we engender trust and communication? How can we lead them to these two words?
It occurred to me this morning that our institutions need to be like us. People who work and play together. Families with sons and daughters. Parents. Friends. Bonded through these two big words: trust and communication. If only we could lay bare these two words in the narrative used by our leaders, the decisions they make, and the very manner that they lead. Replace doubt with belief and move forward with trust communicated.
KT: The day is beginning and I will be looking for you in every moment, using these two words to help understand what next. We love you.