Saturday, May 21, 2016

Communication: Listening and Openess

Whenever we have a blockage, signs appear but are not quickly apparent. If we don't catch it at the beginning, the signs will become more obvious. When a drain is plugged, and  water drains slowly or the drain is completely clogged and returns the water, we know something is wrong. In the Peace Weekly, a columnist begins his article on communication with these words on clogged drains.

Road congestion is similar. In the beginning, we have slow progress, followed at times by stoppage and loss of time and harm. Wisdom is to prevent blockage or  fix  problems as soon as possible. Isn't this the  wisdom when communication between persons is not working correctly.

Between persons when we have an impasse, we look for ways to communicate: finding ways to understand one another. What is the reason for the breakdown in communication?  Persons in positions of authority are at times obstacles to the free flow of ideas and communication:  found in political  societies, communities, religious societies  and in  families.

Authoritarianism on the part of the person on the top is often the reason for the lack of communication. What has to happen is the one on top has to stop being bossy. How does the one on top stop being bossy? We who are Christians have Jesus as our example of the ideal communicator.

What enabled him to be such an example? He was willing to sit down and eat with anybody. The columnist  mentions two qualities that are necessary for communication to happen: to listen and  be open to what the other one is saying. Jesus was always opened to prompting of the Spirit.

In our society,  communities, parishes and families when we have problems with  communication we need to work on hearing and being open. Those in positions of authority should be less captivated by their authority and bossy ways. When we listen to God's voice and the voices of others, the results  will be communication.

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