'Know that we are loved.' Is the topic the nun columnist in the Catholic Times wants us to remember as an important part of the spirituality of communication. She gives us the example of a writer that came to the conclusion that he and his three teenage children were addicted to the digital screen. Any free time they had would be with the computer or the smartphone, glued to the screen. One day coming home from work, out of the blue, he declared: no more 'screens' for six months.
Let us suppose there were no smartphones or
internet, what would we be doing? she asks. We would be walking in the park with our
friends more often than we do it now; reading, and going to the
dictionary, talking more often and looking people in the eyes and communicating, and wanting to understand another more deeply.
recalls giving a group some homework: go home, look a family member in
the eyes, and have a conversation. One condition was to spend 10
minutes doing nothing else put looking directly at the person and
conversing. A week later she asked for the results of the assignment, and not
one out of the ten spent the 10 minutes in conversation. One woman said that she couldn't find the time but did talk to her husband while
she was driving. There was no time to spend in eye to eye contact, and
speaking to one another.
In a questionnaire recently,
parents have difficulty speaking to their children for even 30 minutes a day,
and mostly about their school work and their complaints. There are many couples
that do not even speak to each other in a proper fashion for even ten minutes. Reasons given can be unnerving: busy, fear of a fight,
it is useless. There are even those who communicate by means of Twitter until their anger subsides.
Another study showed
that those families that eat together at least 4 times a week have
two times more satisfaction in life than those that don't, and relate
better with the society in which they live. Communicating with one
another is a sign of a happy family.
A condition for
happiness is relationships, and this requires communication. This does
not only include talking to one another. St. Don Bosco in talking to
his teachers said: "Do not just stop at loving your children but make
sure they feel that love." To make them feel love means there is a need for mutual understanding. Full attention given to the other, and speaking
as if they were the only person present.
We are communicating with others without meeting the other.
Communication is everywhere, but mutual understanding is rare. We are
daily communicating with our smart phones, but are we meeting the other?
How about spending ten minutes today speaking face to face with a person you love; you will find there is the possibility of having it develop into a heart to heart