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=191= Words of Melancholy: Tone

Well, J333 is once again very interesting! I enjoyed worshiping God as a worshipper and not a worship leader! It is just nice sometimes to worship God with the congregation. I really liked that they sang Prince of Peace! It was really one of those songs that was so well written and arranged! The fact that the chorus is a medley is just beautiful! Really like it a lot! The worship set was a nice one with familiar songs that let’s one rest and enjoy God’s presence. Pastor Meng Cham’s role as a worship pastor is not an easy one. To be able to balance between spiritual encounters and solid theology is not easy. Respect!

Well, I decided to have supper today even though I was a little tight for time and had to revise because I simply wanted to spend time with people. It is rare enough for me to be able to go for J333, why not just spend the night with them? Supper is simply an excuse for conversation and I like that! 🙂 today we, the youths, spent supper with the YA’s it was good! I wanted to interact with some YA people because I just want to see how they are like. I met a few people and they are all very different. I have Koon Jie and Tiff before. They are both really nice! Tiff being one of the easiest people I have ever talked to. Koon Jie is very initiative in keeping me company, reminds me a little of Domi! Kean Lee is probably one of the most friendly guys I have met and interacted with! He is doing a PHD in Aerospace as well! How cool is that? Ellisa is pretty nice as well! Very cool! Who knew I would be meeting the RLs of the new batch of YAs! Then, Shawn Ng/Ang is an interesting fellow. It was really difficult to talk to him.

Well, I did my usual, “Oh let’s leave it as that, so I will know your name and you will never know my name! Hahaha! I am kidding! I am Kelvin” and he responded differently. I have no idea is he joking or not. He is a VERY clever individual. He had a wide variety of knowledge and constantly saying things that are about life and what is happening now. Almost like a MP. All my skills of making myself awkward and joking around with people doesn’t work. All my light hearted interactions does not work. I did see him try to include me in conversation though. However it got to a point when he told me that he doesn’t like me. Well, it did not feel good at all. I was brought to an emotional low. Well, now thinking back I do not know whether was he joking or not, for he acted like nothing happened and even had a good conversation with me afterwards.

He is very… I think the only word that I can think of is “serious”? Hmm, I would say that he is very down to earth, very straight. He speaks both English and Chinese with skill. He talks a lot about current events, current advancement in technology etc etc. Almost like someone in Politics he would have lots of resources and stuff like that. Someone very intellectual. Well, I am very thankful that the MRT ride wasn’t awkward. That I was able to find out. That he was from Ngee Ann. That he plays the violin. Prides himself serving God outside church. That he uses his business talents for God. I hope that he likes me more now? Haha, I really hope he was just joking when he said that… :/

It was a very depressing conversation that we had together with Tiff. I was really sad that with Tiff being as amazing as she is is unable to find a job that she wants to do, just because she doesn’t have the qualifications in that area. From what I see and heard, believe with upmost faith that she will be qualified to do that, but just because she doesn’t have that piece of paper, she is unable to do that. It is like a locked up bird, having so much potential to fly only to have its wings atrophied from being locked up in the cage. It is very sad.

We had a wonderful chat about using gifts and callings and stuff like that. I shared about me wanting to have a calling and how God realigned my perspective and called me to now. To focus on what is around me right now rather than what is in the future in 10 years time. It was a good chat. I enjoyed it very much! Shawn kinda reminds me of Tat Wai but more to the intellectual extreme. Maybe Tat Wai just shows it less!

Now to what I wanted to write about. I want to write about tonality of speech and how important it is.

People underestimate how important is it to have tone in your speech. The phrase, “I did not mean you are fat” can have different meanings if you empathize on different words. Tone is important because it helps you convey your thoughts with less of words and more of heart. Tone adds flavour and Colour to speech. Tone allows you to differentiate joking from scolding—when joking, you use a more cheerful and high pitch voice, when you are scolding, you use a lower more serious voice. This would allow you to add power to what you want to. Allows you to speak and convey your feelings. It is very interesting. You can see whether one is unhappy through tone. “Just do whatever you want lor~!” Gives it a light hearted feeling. “Just do whatever you want.” Gives it a serious tone. Though the words used are the same the meaning behind it is totally different. That is why one should be a master of tone and not just words. Words can only bring you this far. How many times have we found ourselves being unable to describe something or a feeling and ended up using weird sounds to express ourselves? Though the english language has it bountiful vocabulary, we still find things difficult to express. Sometimes I find Chinese easier to express myself over English. Sometimes, both languages fall short when I want to express myself.

Tone is almost like the dynamics of conversation. In music if there is no dynamics, the song will be draggy and monotonous. In a conversation with no tone, the conversation seems monotonous and draggy. If I always hold a upbeat tone, it is very tiring for the people around you to listen. If you always hold a serious tone, people might get scared of you. Only when you have a variety of dynamics and tone will your conversation be interesting, despite of the chords and content.

Next, sometimes words and tone can only bring is this far. There are times where body language and facial expression can be helpful as well. I much rather prefer to talk to someone with a blur facial expression than to talk to someone with winkled brows. Body language also does a lot. For example, in a conversation with your friends, you might be closer to some of your friends compared to others. So sometimes subconsciously we would turn our backs; facing your friend. This disengages any conversation that you guys(the two of you) could have as a group with your friends. Sometimes you when you talk to someone and eye contact isn’t made, it might seem as though he isn’t interested to talk to you. Sometimes because we are listening we fall into this state of “zoning out”. For us, the ones zoning out, we do not know the difference, but people talking to us, it almost seem like I am not interested in his story. Sometimes, when we do not know how to interact with someone, we tend to whisper to someone to ask them and stuff like that, but that seems like you are talking behind their backs and seem like you can’t talk to them at all without asking people, this produces a barrier between you and the subject; killing any conversation you will have with him. Body language is something I need to work on.

I think I am very particular about myself when I am making conversation. I try to make myself as real and friendly as I can be, but when that doesn’t work, I will have to try something else. No one is the same and there is no sure fire way to approach someone. In a ministry that involves people, one needs to learn how to approach people, no matter how difficult it is! I do not know how, but I sure would want to continue to exercise my gift. Lord, teach me how to better steward my spiritual gifts for your glory! Thank you Father!