Communication breakdown

First and foremost I want to thank some of my readers for giving me the idea to write about something we all do in some form or another. There are some however who do it better than others. It has to do with how we communicate with each other. Frankly speaking there have been times when I even questioned myself on whether or not my message was interpreted correctly. When I hear a person saying, "I enjoy reading your column, but sometimes I don't understand what you're talking about" it's clear to me that there is some form of a communication breakdown.

Another response which I considered more of a compliment was, "I enjoy reading your column, but you use too many big words." At times I think big words are important to use. For example, if I'm playing a game of Scrabble, bigger words are better. On the other hand if I'm eating alphabet soup, little words are easier to swallow. Actually, I think the gentleman has a valid point in that bigger is not always better when it comes to communicating with others.

Folks, to be honest I can't tell you how my brain works when it comes to writing and communicating a message. The only thing I know is that my brain sends signals to my stubby little fingers which in turn type out a bunch of both big and little words for interpretation. What happens after that is up to you and how it's interpreted. I have just presented to you what I find to be a major problem in today's society. It's called a lack of communication where one person attempts to convey a message to another person but instead sends mixed signals. In other words, what you say is not what you mean. Yes folks we have a problem today in trying to figure out what one is saying and how they mean it.

We all do it -- including myself. I'll admit that sometimes my over-analyzing of a problem can turn a very simple message into something complex, leaving a person wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Are you still following me on this or am I creating a lack of communication with you on this issue? Sorry folks, I'll try to keep it simple and clear. I can see lack of communication as being even a bigger problem in things like education, the work place, relationships and, oh yes, my favorite of them all -- the political environment. This is the type of environment where one politician refuses to listen to the other politician's ideas followed by mistrust, misunderstandings and arguments.

At that point personalities settle in and we really begin to see the fireworks displayed. Of course we have never seen that sort of behavior occur on our county and city levels, have we? So here we have so called "trusted" representatives leading us to believe they are working within our best interests while at the same time not communicating with each other. Is it lack of communication or something else? I'll let you make the call. I'm still trying to figure out how to convey my message to you.

Last week I was living in another place for a brief moment to enjoy a paradise of sun, fun, beaches and relaxation. I was at a place where my worries were put aside for a moment to enjoy the sun, fun, beaches and relaxation. You might say I was incommunicado (oh no it's another big word) which means not allowed or willing to communicate with others. It was sort of like being in a lack of communication state of mind. It was a place where it really didn't matter on whether or not my message was interpreted correctly. Instead it was a place to enjoy sun, fun, beaches and relaxation. Hopefully I interpreted to you what I was doing last week. In simpler terms it's called vacation.

Now that vacation is over the task of catching up on local news begins. So please accept my apology, folks, for lack of communication but before we come back to reality I would like to talk of a brief encounter I had with a person while vacationing at my favorite place. It was during my last evening in paradise while dining out with family and friends that made me think of what's really important. While speaking to the waitress we happened to notice her name tag and where she was from. Her name was Jodi and she was from Fort Plain. Here we are about 1,000 miles from home and a waitress named Jodi from Fort Plain is serving us dinner. When mentioning to her where we were from she immediately asked how things were going in Fort Plain since the flooding. She had a worried look on her face and told us her parents still lived there. Jodi was constantly in communication with her parents during the difficult time. Jodi went on to say she was very concerned about the community and was wondering if anything was being done to help so many families that were decimated by the flood. It's always difficult to answer a question when our government gets involved and you look to politicians for answers. I felt bad not responding in a positive way to her question. Arriving back home this week I happened to notice a headline, "FEMA denies aid for region." According to Federal Emergency Management Agency the village of Fort Plain and its surrounding area does not qualify for federal funds to help rebuild from its devastation.

Apparently, "based on review of all information available, it has been determined that the damage to dwellings from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies." By the way didn't our Sen. Chuck Schumer come visit the area promising help for those in need? I guess it was just another photo-op session. This is just another example of our federal government working at its best.

What does it take to be justified as a community needing help? Is a lack of communication causing this or is it something else? Folks, I'm still trying to work on better ways to communicate with you. I wish our politicians would do the same.

Until next time -- hold that thought.

MIKE LAZAROU is an Amsterdam native and a regular columnist. You may contact him at