Know Your Audience

Sage advice for every writer is “Know Your Audience.” What the writer wishes to convey doesn’t really matter unless a reader is compelled to understand what is written.

Technical writing must be accurate, intending to make a permanent record of flawless operations, procedures, and methodologies. As such it is often viewed as boring, uninteresting, and too detailed for viewing outside the confines of “need to know.”

A cut and dried assessment of caregiving varies, depending upon whom you would consult. Should a prescribed medical procedure be tried? Does the consequence of a certain action result in the most favorable condition? Is dying to live synonymous with living to die? So are the many questions involving future…nobody knows the answers for sure.

What if the future could be guaranteed with utmost certainty? Would we be willing to alter our present behaviors if change were the only means to recovery? Let’s test this theory.

Imagine you are on the passenger list for a water craft which will traverse seas rife with icebergs. Once you board the vessel there is no turning back. No exits, no change of venue, and no alternatives. Do you get on or do you opt out?

Consider yourself an avid fan of the outdoors. You attend sporting events, interact with nature and wildlife, and on occasion even sleep in a tent! On a recent outing you get bitten (mosquito, tick, spider, snake, scorpion, dog, whatever). Do you cancel future excursions or will you chalk it off to experience and proceed next time with additional care?

Connect with a classmate diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  Relate to a friend whose husband’s prostate cancer was just discovered spread into his bones. Associate with a leper, an AIDS patient, or someone having a serious or incurable disease. Can you depart your comfort zone long enough to show compassion?

This is the crux of acting ITN (In Their Names). It is by sharing the burdens of others that our own problems become lessened.

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