March 13, 2022
Embellishment. Everyone likes a good story. The problem comes when it’s not explained that it is a story, but spoken as if it were truth. Again we’re looking at what comes out of our mouths – which, we’ve already been taught, can be the unmaking of us because it can defile us.
There are simple answers to some questions – a ‘simple’ yes or no will do. ‘Simple’ implies nothing complex, something that is easily understandable. But people hear, think, and understand in different ways so perhaps there are no simple questions and answers.
When I was in college, I took a business law class that really taught me something important. It’s called a ‘brief’. That’s exactly what it is – a brief telling of the issue that is presented in court. It includes the names of the people involved in the case, a statement in regard to the matter that brings the case before the court (‘what happened’ – the things that transpired). This is the case in a nut shell. Before all the circumstances and influences and colorations of behavior, the brief explains what happened. Later, other details come out (all the exciting action you see in tv court programs), but the law brief is ‘what happened’. As an exercise in writing a brief, we were given several cases to choose from and we were to write a brief for our selection. We got a whole bunch of information from various sources and we had to cull the brief from all that. I must have rewritten my brief ten times. How to shade out what isn’t important; it’s a difficult task. You see two cars collide – how do you tell what happened? You lay out a story as you saw it. In amongst the details you’ve included are the nuts and bolts of what actually happened. The brief.
It’s the ‘story’ part we’re to watch out for. Be simple. Be direct. Focus your thoughts before you speak so that you can be sure that what you’re saying is the brief. Don’t embellish, don’t enhance, don’t add things that aren’t necessary to clear understanding. Mind your tongue. Think brief.