I have taken a while to get around to writing this note. I wanted to take the time for some further reflection as I observed events, posts and messages (some directly to me) in professional as well as personal contexts.
I wanted to be sure of how I wanted to say, what I wanted to say. I did not want to just blurt out the first words that came to mind. Because it means a lot and it has implications.
My mother often emphasized the importance of words and what they meant. For good measure she also threw in the phrase – ” shahanyala shabdacha maan” (roughly translating into – the wise recognise the value of words) thereby acknowledging tangentially that there were those with whom the gentle subtlety of words did not work. 🙂
We seem, all too often, to confuse spontaneity with impulsiveness; and I have seen far too many examples of it in the recent years, months, even weeks to make me want to write about this crucial Granny Quality.
Despite being used to these “in the moment” responses, posts on a friend’s ‘wall’ still had the capacity to stun and sadden me as I realised that many folks had not even bothered to read (or had not comprehended) the one line post that accompanied a picture she had shared. And in so doing, had not registered that she was posting about an extremely sad event – not a remembrance per se of the happy event portrayed in the photo.
It made me think about other posts and messages in the context of the Granny Cloud.
Grannies are “chosen” because they are wise – because they have the capacity to reflect. It has always been one of the most critical Granny qualities. It is expected that Grannies give thought to what they say, where they say it, how they say it; even to whom they say it.
Especially when it has to do with one’s own or colleagues’ experiences vis-à-vis sessions with the children. When it has to do with attempts at bringing about clarity regarding issues about how we conduct Granny sessions (including session content or the support we need to conduct these); we need to be careful about what we say and how we phrase it. There are those who might think that ‘too much deliberation’ could stilt the conversation. But there are so many platforms on which different kinds of discussions can take place – (Discussions, not debates, or impulsive venting or unsolicited advice at every turn). Mind you, I am not negating the need to ‘vent’ or even ‘think aloud’ but there are appropriate platforms for that too.
These are concerns I experience even in my personal life – but my brief here is to do with The Granny Cloud and how our ability to reflect can enable us to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. Before we ‘open our mouth’ and post on group platforms (Facebook – Website – WhatsApp) or message a fellow Granny or Coordinator it would do us good to ask ourselves a few questions: (No matter what the trigger!)
- What do I want to say?
- Why do I want to say that? In response to what situation or independent thought, doubt, or experience do I wish to say this?
- What do I hope to achieve? Is there some other way (platform, channel) through which this could be better achieved?
- Where (on which platform) I am I saying this? Who am I addressing? Is there another, more appropriate, medium through which I could say this?
- How do I express what I really want to say or ask?
- Have I considered the implications? (for others who may be involved as well)
- Have I considered potential reasons behind a post before responding to it?
And so on… It looks like a long list and a lot of reflection. But it doesn’t actually take very long to go through it, especially if you have chosen this to be your second nature. And it has to do with words as well as actions (even basic ones like posting or booking sessions, making appeals etc.). It does mean being respectful of each other’s commitment and motives.
As Grannies (and for that matter as just plain people too!) our words (and actions) carry meaning. Let’s be spontaneous – not impulsive. Let’s reflect. At least a little? Please…