Life Axioms – Part 1

I’m going to begin a new blog series on something I’ve been thinking about lately. We all have ideas that shape how we act and why. I’ve been trying to recognize what those are for me and put words to them. Once you recognize what they are in your life, you can decide if you like them as is or if they need to be refined.

I’m still working on my list, but I think they’ll make for an interesting blog series. These are in no particular order, and I’m not even sure how many I’ll ultimately have. Without further ado, here’s one for you.

Life Axiom: Talk to people in your home only when you can see them.

We all lower our guard at home. Our family members know us best and see us at our worst. The home is always where our most casual and unplanned conversations happen. If your family is anything like ours, we often end up talking with people we can’t even see. They may be in the room next to ours, or just around a corner, or upstairs/downstairs. And this is especially true when you multiply it by the seven people living in our home.

I hear your frustration with me already. “But what if I’m relaxed on the couch or my favorite chair?” You will have a decision to make my friends. This decision will cause you to critically evaluate what you are about to say (which is not a bad proposition when we come to think of it). Is what I’m about to say worth getting up for? Perhaps it can wait. I wonder how many conversations are worth getting up for. Those that make the cut will surely be improved by the effort.

I’d like to suggest this axiom will present a minor irritation to you while also providing a unique opportunity to be more intentional with those you love most. There’s nothing quite like having a conversation with someone in the room next to you only to then discover they aren’t there anymore. They’re now halfway through a trip to the store.

Or have you ever felt the frustration that your significant other didn’t remember something you clearly talked about with them previously? Perhaps you were having a one-sided conversation. Or what if your family member enjoys wearing headphones at times? Your eyes would be able to tell you that they are not indeed listening to anything you are saying. And surely I can’t be the only one who’s unknowingly attempted a conversation with a person on a phone call.

I even know one extended family member (who I’ll leave anonymous out of familial love) who’s been known to say—unintentionally humorously—“I’m not listening,” rather than “I can’t hear you,” when someone attempts a conversation out of sight. The result ends up the same.

As someone who is more sensitive to overall noise (part of being introverted), I can vouch that this axiom will also lower the overall volume in your home. We raise our voices naturally to carry the sound to whichever part of the house our target happens to be at the moment. But if you can see them that means they are likely going to be closer to you.

Living by this axiom will also keep you from the tech hack of simply calling our loved ones on their cell phone… when they’re at home with us. I don’t want to imply I’m above any of these bad habits. I’ve done them all. It’s why I also have discovered the value in striving to stare into the eyeballs of those I want to interact with when they are nearby. Talk to people in your home only when you can see them.

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co.