FIRST A NOTE: I hope you all had a great time at the Birthday Bash yesterday! I had a ball and learned a LOT from my guest "speakers." Due to an infestation of the Gundar Kind (our techie gremlin), we had some techie issues with the coupon code and various other sundry glitches so we are extending our contests and 50% off sale for a day or two until we can work out the details. That'll give more of you a chance anyway. It was a very fun but VERY LONG day. My fingers are still sore for typing 120 words a minute for 12 hours straight. A BIG thank you to Traci of Your Web Tech Team for keeping our site up all throughout the Birthday Bash. I think this is the first time I've been to one where the server didn't crash! And folks were downloading and posting like crazy! Another big thank you to my family for putting up with me, or rather NOT putting up with me as I sat here all day and worked. And especially to my son, Chris for making me lunch. Okay, here's the final installment of my article series. I hope you've been enjoying this article series. To recap if you are just joining the blog, we can learn four very important things about communication from young children. As we grow and age, we become more sophisticated, but also we lose a lot of our wide eyed innocence which can be extremely helpful in communication with others. Lesson one shared how we should Speak Plainly. Lesson two says to Listen Wide-Eyed. Lesson three is Don't Let Anyone Distract You. Here is the final lesson we can learn from five year olds. Lesson Four: Be Yourself! Young children are who they are. They very rarely hide it. In fact, they don't know they can and they don''t think they should. Adults learn that in order to be accepted, we need to conform. In order to be promoted, we may need to comply. In order to be effective, we may need to play the game. Let's face it, if our kids did this, we'd call it pretend. Adults often loose some of their sense of self as we play the game of life. We get away from what we want because of what we need. We move away from who we are in favor of who we think others need us to be. When I was a kid, I was weird. "They" called me that. "They" is the popular kids. I moved around a lot as a kid and, since I was shy, it was hard to fit in anyway. However, being different (weird) made it that much more difficult. I was the one who didn't have a history with them. I was the outsider. I was the one who said "dungarees" instead of "jeans." I had a "pocket book" instead of a "purse." I loved words and music not designer Sasoon labels (Okay, I just gave away my age there!) and I talked about justice and fairness while my peers talked about boys and beauty. I was the short one, the creative nerd. Maybe you felt that way. Adults thought it was cute when I was young, but as I grew older, I found my peers didn't agree. I tried to fit in. I tried not to be a weirdo. I didn't try long because it just didn't work and I was miserable being someone else. So I learned very early in life what my daughter calls "Embracing Your Inner Weirdness." And when I accepted Jesus, I realized that this is who God created me to be anyway. Another lesson I learned after studying communication skills for many years is that, while children may want everyone to be the same, adults find that boring. Adults want to spend time with an individual, but by that time most of us have already spent too many years trying to be someone else. My advice to you is DON'T. I'm five foot nuthin', have an extremely goofy sense of humor, wear thick glasses, and love purple so much it's the only color I wear. It's me. It's who I am and you know what? People remember me. They appreciate my creativity. Don't be like everyone else. God created you to be special. As you go about life trying to live as Christ would have you, also remember to be the person God crated you to be and not a carbon copy of someone else. He already created someone to be that guy!