Cherishing honest, open dialogue


Healthy and honest communication is to be cherished. There are times when political speech and personal conversations leave one confused and frustrated. Indeed, effective and trusted communication helps one to better understand a person or situation and enables one to resolve differences, build trust, better understand a person or situation, and enables one to resolve differences, and cherish a respect with and for others.

The following poetic expression, which I have written, directs our attention to the precious gift of honest communication.


There was a time in my life which I remember

and remember it well when verbal expressions were clear.

When speaking and listening was so much simpler

and communications with others was trustingly sincere.

Back then, communicating was far less so complexing

and communications were honorably true;

There was word of mouth, or chatting, or by visiting

or a letter from a “yours truly” to you.

We said what was needed to communicate

to send or to get our messages across

And to speak with directness and with honor

and by so doing, leaving no one at a disturbing loss.

Talking points and personal agenda not withstanding

they were just not part of the communication scene.

No double talk or gobbledygook was jabbered

but plain honest language given for others to glean.

The teleprompter and cue-cards were not present

they just were not part of the talking deal

But truthfulness from the heart was ever present

that was the strength of conversational appeal.

Photo-ops and staged fixes were not common

they were not quite the desired thing.

But by absolute truthfulness and humble sincerity

credibility to the message it would bring.

There was a time when transparency was for certain

and we could count on it as a certainty of fact.

But now, it seems transparency is just verbiage only

or maybe a put-on of a staged dramatic act.

And so, we look back fondly at what was truly sincerity

and we remember the candor of that day …

When communication was simple and truthful

and honesty was the only treasured way.

Dr. Robert L. Heichberger is a resident of Gowanda and professor emeritus at SUNY Fredonia.