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the dance of words

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people would just say what they mean? And while we’re at it, mean what they say. Every time someone says to me, I don’t want to interfere,but… they do want to interfere. They are already interfering. They’ve already crossed the line into telling you want to do, but, of course they don’t want to tell you want to do. So you enter the dance. They say what they think you want to hear. And you listen, trying to figure out what they are really saying, all the while they are pretending to hear what you are saying and what you are NOT saying. This gets more complicated the more crowded the dance floor becomes. If you ask most men why they don’t like to dance they’ll tell you that they are afraid of stepping on your toes. The dance of words is no different. First there is the conversation while everyone is on the dance floor. Then there are the conversations about what each of the people who are not present really meant. With each change of conversational partners the dance begins to unravel. You leave the dance floor thinking you’ve got the choreography set; you understand how you’re supposed to move and most importantly, you know who is supposed to lead. But while you’re off having a drink and catching your breath, the dance has altered. And you step back onto the platform and you innocently begin the moves you were so certain of only moments earlier only to find out that the waltz you just learned has turned into a samba. And it’s then that you realize that, of course… you just stepped on somebody’s toes.

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