Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Communication is Difficult

Communication is an area of life that gets a great deal of theoretical discussion. How do we communicate our ideas so they will be understood? A columnist in the Catholic Times reminds us how those who appear for the first time on a radio program have to be told to express their emotions by words and not by bodily gestures.

In order to express our feelings and our intentions when talking to others, there are many things that have to be remembered. In radio what is important is the spoken word, but visual media has another dimension besides the ears. With a smile, a great deal may be conveyed, and actions of course can also 'say' a great deal; with the proper action, one can convey what a thousand words cannot.

The viewer and listener's situation has to be considered when deciding what is appropriate communication. Some see all with a biased view, waiting for something that from their point of view is wrong, and can be condemned. With that kind of person one never knows if one has communicated with him or not, and in return, he may be perplexed by not being understood.

It seems, the columnist says, that it is getting harder to communicate with the passage of time. He laments that it has not been just a few times he has failed to communicate what he wanted to say.  The I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong type of attitude should give way to the attitude that we have different ideas on the subject.  He wonders if it is not unlike showing something to a blind person and talking to a person with a hearing difficulty.

Dishonesty, prejudice, lack of knowledge, wanting to be accepted by others, our own history, among many other distorting conditions are often responsible for our failure to communicate clearly. It would be helpful if all of us had the humility to admit this, and try, without condemning or ignoring  another's position, to search for a better understanding of what we hold to be true in order to communicate more effectively.

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