Herald Journal Columns
July 23, 2007, Herald Journal

The art of communication


Most of us have had the experience of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak English.

While it’s stressful and a bit frustrating, we’re usually able to send some clear messages.

We do it mostly with our hands and by pointing and making other gestures, and with our facial expressions.

It’s called body language. This was the first method of communication used by our ancestors. Imagine going through this each day of your life without being able to speak to those around you.

That’s what early humans had to do. They also realized that they came up short in articulating needs and feelings. They grew tired of just pointing and getting excited looks on their faces. They wanted to communicate in more specific ways.

The next process was the drawing of pictures. Whether people had great artistic talent or not, they could send a message with a more precise meaning by sketching drawings on the ground or on the cave walls. Even the stick figures we draw today would have worked.

Finally, phonics came into place. The development of language became one of the greatest achievements in the history of human race.

Speaking words replaced drawing pictures. We can talk to others and to ourselves in words, but we think in pictures.

What we are doing most of the time when we are talking to another person is exchanging pictures. No matter how hard you try a picture will form in your mind.

Words are what we use every day of our lives to connect with the world and the people in it. They’re the tools we use to greet, inform, answer, encourage, comfort, praise, celebrate, thank, pray, and laugh.

Many people have learned in today’s world that kind words cost little, but accomplish much. They can even change lives.

Words not only create emotions they create actions and from our actions flow the results of our lives. Words are not only powerful they can have lasting impact.

Some people even use inappropriate words and even hurtful words. We’ve all had experience with that unfortunately.

The amazing truth is, the real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

We all have frustration and anger and when words fly, these are usually words that are reflecting of what’s going on inside of us. Our words, even when were trying to hide our feelings, reveal what’s stored inside. It will come out but, sometimes it comes out this way and that way.

The greatest message we can all tell ourselves is that God gave us all a heart to use wisely.

Just think for a moment, there’s no misinterpreting the language of the heart because love speaks in any language straight from the heart and pulls us all together, never apart.

The human heart feels things the eyes cannot see, and knows what the mind cannot understand. We have choices everyday with our language.

We can put people down or we can lift them up. We can be self-centered and inconsiderate, or we can be respectful, kind and helpful. For the most part, we do these things with the language we choose.

The tone of voice can be just as important, and sometimes more important than, the words we use.

Just think what kind words, a soft tone, and a gentle touch can do when combined. We all have our own way of speaking while trying to send our message.

The most successful people have the art of being a “good finder.” A good finder is a person who never fails to find good in another human person when speaking to them or when they are not present.

A “good finder” always finds a positive approach to a situation and lifts up the people he/she associates with. In other words he/she is a reputable builder.

Trying is still an art of achievement, an avenue of a forward motion, an experience of that situation. Everyday we learn and experience new things through our efforts of communicating.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like if every time we would send our message, that we would let no one come to us without leaving us better and happier.

We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little bit of each other everywhere we go.

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