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As I speak to people around the country I am struck by an interesting observation: Non-communication creates a vacuum which then fills itself.

I guess I need to further explain that piece of intellectual brilliance.

Let’s take two people who are close friends.  Thabo offends Dave, making a random comment about his mom or some such.  Dave is furious and won’t talk to Thabo.  Thabo however remains blissfully unaware of this upset.

Dave will not talk to Thabo.  Life is hectic and as the busy days roll by Thabo doesn’t notice that Dave’s not around much and that they haven’t gone out and don’t call each other.

Since Dave is already stewed he gets a little more angry at Thabo as each day goes by.  This has now created a vacuum of no communication and as we all know nature is none to keen on a vacuum so it fills itself.  Dave at first wonders why Thabo hasn’t called, then he plays their last conversation over and over and picks up “new details” every time he does.  He begins to assume that there was no real affection there to begin with.  This upset grows into hostility.

6 months go by and one fine Saturday Thabo hits the local mall and runs into Dave.  Thabo is delighted and greets him effusively.  This confuses the hell out of Dave and he lashes out.  Thabo asks “what the hell?” and a couple of heated exchanges later they both realise the massive confusion, they give each other a hug and they’re the best of mates, again.

6 months of torture and frustration for Dave could have been resolved with a 2 minute phone call:  “Thabo, I’m really pissed and what you said, that wasn’t cool.” “Jeez Dave, sorry man I thought I was just making a lame joke.” Boom! upset over and we move on.

The divides we create between ourselves and others are so often self manufactured and certainly self maintained.

The lesson is: When is doubt COMMUNICATE.  It is, after all, the universal solvent!