Sunday, January 20, 2013

The parable of the Wontons

Chinese food......  One of my favorites.  I am not too picky.
I like Royal Wok for the quick lunch buffet for $6.20.
I like Orange chicken from Panda Express.
 I like Fong Garden because they deliver.

Thursday after a long day at work Travis and I decided to phone in an order to Royal Wok and pick it up on the way home for dinner.  After some discussion on what Hank would like, Travis called in our order and we headed up to North Main Street to pick it up.  I sent Travis in with some cash and then sent a couple of quick emails out while I waited in the car.  Travis came out with a large box that seemed way to big for our order, but didn't think much of it.  We headed to home.

Travis and I continued to chat, when my curiosity got the best of me at the stop light.
"What did you order again Trav?"  I ask.
"Sesame Chicken, Beef Lo-mein,  Beef and Broccoli, white rice and wontons." He says.
 I glance back to the large box in the back seat of my car....   I reached back and opened one of the top Styrofoam box.  The box contained 10 wontons.
"Um, Trav, how many wontons did you order?"  I ask.
"I asked for 5." he says.
I open the next Styrofoam box and see another 10 wontons.   I count the Styrofoam boxes..... there are 5.   I begin to laugh.
"Honey, I think we have 5 ORDERS of wontons, instead of 5 wontons."
Travis spins around and looks at the back of the car.
"No way!"  He says.

We pull into the garage and carry the box into the house where upon further inspection, we see that there are, in fact, Five boxes of wontons.  50 wontons for me, Travis and my 84 year old father.

We had a good laugh, and I thanked  Travis for the smile he gave me.   Luckily, he has a good sense of humor and the wontons will live on in family folklore.  But it got me thinking....

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place"  
                                                                                                          George Bernard Shaw 

Travis thought he ordered one order of five wontons.  The person on the other end of the line heard five orders of ten wontons.  How often do we not communicate very clearly with each other? How often do we think we know exactly what the other person meant?

So many problems could be avoided if we had better communication with each other.  I know I often struggle with listening, understanding, not assuming things and allowing my bias or perspective to cloud the conversation.   I avoid conflict and sometimes don't want to have the difficult conversations because I am not sure how to have them.   I keep working on them.  Little steps by little steps I try harder to be a better communicator, because relationships are worth it.  People are worth it.   When you are struggling to understand someone,  think of the parable of the wontons.   Are you saying what you really mean?  Are you hearing what the other person really is saying?   Sure, our 50 wontons was a pretty painless price to pay for a moment of miscommunication,  but sometimes, the stakes are a lot higher. 

How about our communication with our Heavenly Father?  Do we really communicate with him though meaningful prayer, or do we toss out our order for 5 wontons?  Improving our communication with our Father in Heaven is a great step to really learning how to talk to someone.  God loves you.  He wants to hear from you, and he wants to talk and understand your needs and concerns, joys and happiness.  Improving the communication there will have a huge impact on our life.

Communication.  We can all take a minute and do a little bit better job., and in the process, we will all make a difference in our amazing world,  one random woman at a time. 


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