Crawling on burnt hands and knees across the blistering hot sand, his throat rasping in searing pain with each seemingly last breath, with only about a day more travel before he reached town, a miner came across a cabin. In the cabin was a rusty water pump. The pump handle was in the up ...Crawling on burnt hands and knees across the blistering hot sand, his throat rasping in searing pain with each seemingly last breath, with only about a day more travel before he reached town, a miner came across a cabin. In the cabin was a rusty water pump. The pump handle was in the up position, as though it was waiting for him. Tied to the handle was a goatskin flask with at least a cup of water in it. Attached to the flask was this note.

Dear Traveler, I know how bad it is for you. That's why I drilled the well and built this cabin. You may drink the water and it will see you to safety, or, you can risk pouring it down this rusty pump so as to wet the leather washers thereby enabling you to prime the pump and drink your fill and refill the flask for the next needy traveler.

The variables seem obvious. Far from any desert, with our thirst quenched, we are able to sit righteously and detached and weigh all the factors. For example, we might think, "It would be stupid to pour the water down a possibly dry well." "What if the washers were so dry that they had cracked and broke?" "I know, I'll drink the bag of water and come back later and replace it."

Unbeknownst to the miner there are several fundamental generating principles at work. The miner drinks the bag of water and promises himself to return and leave much more than a small flask. However, he gets bit by a scorpion and dies not 100 yards from town. You see, he dismissed the thought that while he was gone another traveler may have needed the water.

What's the purpose of this story here in a web site about communication?

Well, (no pun intended) it's about integrity as a communication variable. When something doesn't go as envisioned one can't be certain if it has to do with one's integrity or simply a communication problem until one has eliminated the outcome as being a consequence of an out integrity. "H'mm. lets see. What could this broken agreement be about?" If nothing comes up it's most likely has to do solely about your agreement making skills. For most, the question reveals an incomplete, an unacknowledged perpetration.

For example: Take the case of a mechanic "past due" for his monthly house rent payment, who opts for his own survival. The mechanic has valuable tools or a TV that he could sell so that his landlord doesn't have to sell something to meet his own monthly mortgage payment to the bank. But the mechanic thinks, "I'll keep my tools so I can make some money so I can then pay my rent." He doesn't realize that he has had this survivalist philosophy, this ground of being, of his own survival being more important than his word, for many years. All people who file for bankruptcy have this survivalist philosophy. It's what brings about their failure.

In the study of communication it's imperative that you study the subject of integrity. Look now to see what your philosophies are.

1) Do you think there's a possible connection between the fact that the mechanic doesn't have enough money to pay his rent and the fact that all along he's not been committed to keeping his agreements?

2) Is there anyone who would say you are surviving at their expense?

3) Do you have any broken financial agreements that are causing others hardships?

—by Kerrith H. (Kerry) King

Author's Bio: 

Kerrith H. (Kerry) King, 73, is the founder and president of Community Communications a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. Kerry has been a leadership-relationship communication-skills coach/consultant in Hawaii for thirty three years. He has consulted for such clients as Mike McCormack Realtors (formerly Hawaii's largest realtor), Hobart Corp., Budar Advertising, the president of Pacific Construction (builders of the Ala Moana Shopping Center), R. M. Towill Corp. (builders of the Honolulu Airport), U.S. Postal Service—Oahu, the chief psychiatrist of Leahi Hospital, Hawaii Child Care Centers (a school system), the Director of the State Department of Health—Big Isle, the manager of John Hancock Life Insurance of Hawaii—Oahu, many educators, attorneys, doctors, dentists and thousands more.

Kerry has taught part-time for the University of Hawaii's Speech/Communication Department on the Manoa and Hilo campuses as well as for the distinguished JAIMS (Japanese-American Institute of Management Science). Prior to becoming a consultant Kerry was a career military officer. He served as an enlisted man in the Navy on submarines and then with UDT-21 (Underwater Demolition Team - Class #20) now called SEALs. He left the Navy to go to college and through the R.O.T.C. joined the Army. He did two tours in Vietnam; he served both as an Infantry Platoon Leader (173'rd Airborne) and as Infantry Company Commander (82'nd Airborne). A gunshot wound ended his military career. He has two bronze stars (one for valor) and two purple hearts.

After consulting and teaching on Oahu for thirteen years, Kerry retired to the Big Isle. In 1988 he donated an Organization Communication Workshop to the "East Hawaii Coalition to Stop Food Irradiation." That one workshop evolved into what's now called Community Communications (ComCom), a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), educational organization. The political activists of the Big Isle were responsible for enrolling more than 1000 participants into the Communication-Skills Workshop for Community Leaders, a.k.a., Introduction to Leadership Communication-Skills Workshop.

Kerry's military training experiences represent proven educational processes having to do with teamwork and excellence. He has integrated these various leadership-communication models with what is currently being taught in the fields of human potential and speech/communication. Ninety-five percent of the critiques written by ComCom's workshop participants report favorably. Most participants say it transforms their experience of communication.

Kerry also does free individual, couples, and small-group three-hour Communication Consultations/Coaching. For a three-hour communication skills consult appointment (in person or by telephone) go here.

To schedule a lecture for your organization or for workshop information please Contact Us.