This sign is located off a country road outside of Helen, GA. It definitely leads to second and even third glances followed by quizzical looks to your driving companions. After a chuckle, the sign made me think. How often do we try to express ourselves in a similar manner?
One of the most frustrating positions to be in is to not feel listened to or understood. When this happens, we grow increasingly desperate. We feel like if we can just make the signs bold enough and colorful enough, our message will be clear. Perhaps we are placing emphasis on the wrong things.
Maybe what we need to focus on is empathy.
I know what you’re thinking – “You’re right! If he/she could just put him/herself in my shoes, then he/she would understand why I am so mad/sad/angry!”
That’s not what I’m talking about, however. You cannot force someone to empathize. But you can have empathy for them. Try looking at your message through their filters. Does it hit a nerve, causing them to flood or shut down? Or, perhaps they have never experienced anything of the sort and cannot relate at all. Try changing your approach to be more empathetic and speak to their experiences.Their response might surprise you. Empathy can be contagious.
Oh, and for the record, I prefer my Beagles with cream cheese.