Monday, December 26, 2016

The Art and Skill of Communication

Communication is both an art and a skill. Our life is made difficult because of failure to communicate. We don't always have the results we want but without conversation we have estrangement.

Communication means we say what we mean and the hearer understand what we say, with the meaning we give the words, which is not always the case. We have different experiences, our words have different nuances and at times who we are speaks louder than what we say.

Writing in the Catholic Times the chairperson of the Saeurinuri Peace Corp introduces the readers to the importance of dialogue to overcome conflict. She calls it the foundation for change.

Korea has been divided for over 70 years. Both the North and South have lost much because of the division. The difference in ideology and systems has given birth to hostility and misunderstanding and has built a high wall against reconciliation and unity. However, this is not only between the North and South but also among ourselves here in the South. This appears in politics and among the citizens: lack of trust and the chaos within society.

When we have the same ideals there is little difficulty in accepting the other, however, when the point of view is different we often quickly decide it's wrong and from our years of living with this understanding, we are quick to see an enemy. The effort and desire to understand and communicate are missing.

A Korean proverb often heard: "with the right kind of words we can repay a large debt." Meaning that with dialogue we are able to bring about a new relationship. With communication we can cause problems but also solve them.

We need to have an open mind and heart.  Conversation is the foundation of relationships. Communication with those we are close and those with whom we are alienated requires conversation. Whether it's a subject we agree on or have a difference of opinion-- talking is required.

However, when we don't have the necessary skills communities suffer. Some don't know how to begin a conversation and maintain the conversation. This is a reality we often see. We know the usefulness of communication. It's a precious treasure that allows us to avoid conflict and maintain peace. Something greatly needed in society.

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