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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Communication: The Most Human of Challenges

Cara Santa Maria - a brilliant scientist, a brave person facing personal depression, a public figure and a pretty lady.  Which mantle do you think most people dwell on when they look at her, or even speak with her?  How often, I wonder, has she had to scale down her prose, push down the swell of her depression to help people get past the way she looks to see the multi-faceted gem, inclusions and all, that lies within?

Stephen Hawking - a brilliant scientist (who made quantum physics a best seller), a limp body trapping a hyperactive network of cognitive activity, a man with the drives of a man but no way to satiate them.  How often have people, even those cognizant of his genius, treated him like an object rather than a person?

I won't lie; my eyes welled up a bit while I read this piece.  I've faced many a communication challenge in my life.  I have some idea of what it's like to have so much you want to share but for whatever reason, be restrained from doing so.  I know the frustration and stigma a chasm of the personal can cause, for both sides.  Cara Santa Maria beautifully captures the tragic poignancy, the almost-meeting of spirits, if not as much minds, through the relatively short time frame of her encounter with Hawking.

Her writing reminds me of a favourite line from Jack Kerouac's On the Road - "We tiptoed around each other like heartbreaking new friends."

If two minds as beautiful as these can't bridge that simple, human gap, can any of us?

So long as we make the effort, there will always, always be something that's shared - even if it's just a new way of seeing ourselves.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: Hey Glenn, the kid's a person and he's in the damned room!

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